Boyd Cordner has responded to calls for him to retire.
Boyd Cordner has responded to calls for him to retire.

Cordner responds to concussion retirement calls

Sydney Roosters captain Boyd Cordner has ignored calls for him to consider a shock concussion-related retirement by declaring: "I know I'm playing footy - that's for sure."

The inspirational NSW and Kangaroos skipper, 28, suffered four head knocks in a 10-match period this season, raising considerable concerns over his playing future.

And Cordner also spoke about the heartbreaking death of his cousin, Joel Dark, saying: "It's never easy losing a loved one."

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Boyd Cordner has suffered four head knocks this season. Picture: Phil Hillyard
Boyd Cordner has suffered four head knocks this season. Picture: Phil Hillyard

In recent weeks, concerned Parramatta great Peter Sterling claimed Cordner's head knocks were a "major concern" while Manly legend Geoff Toovey said: "I'm really concerned about him."

Former Test hooker Ben Elias even encouraged Cordner to consider retirement.

Cordner, though, has insisted he won't be retiring and is preparing for a full-blown tilt at the finals in a Roosters side ready for a blockbuster against Penrith on Friday night.

"I know I'm playing footy - that's for sure. I haven't thought about the other alternative," Cordner said of his future.

"I know that it (retirement) has been tossed up but I'm really confident in where I am with my health and the footy that's still in front of me. I wouldn't be sitting here talking to you now or preparing to play a game of footy if I wasn't okay.

"Obviously, it's not ideal to keep getting head knocks but I'm very lucky I'm at a club like the Roosters, who have looked after me.

"I haven't really suffered any major symptoms, or anything like that. It's just been the process of having a couple of head knocks in a row and then having that break and then coming back and having another one.

The funeral of Joel Dark, cousin of NRL player Boyd Cordner.
The funeral of Joel Dark, cousin of NRL player Boyd Cordner.

"The body is good, it's had a freshen-up - I haven't played much footy over the last six weeks, or more. I'm feeling really good. I'm not too worried, I feel really good."

Asked about those suggesting he consider retirement, Cordner said: "I'm glad that people care. I'm very lucky to be at the Roosters, they do the same for me, I can't thank them enough how they have handled me this year with my health first before footy."

Cordner has endured a sad and tragic season following Dark's death on September 11 following a rugby league match in Newcastle.

"It's been a tough last couple of weeks for myself and family, obviously. It's never easy losing a loved one and a family member," he said.

"But footy has been my saving grace - you come to work and forget about that for a minute and focus on playing footy.

 

"I'm so lucky to be around such good people, close friends, I have known for ages. I'm lucky to be here at the Roosters. They make me feel at home and make me feel at ease, for sure.

 

"I can't thank Robbo (coach Trent Robinson) for what he done for me throughout my whole career but especially the last couple of weeks. He does care for the footy player but he cares for the person more, that's what I respect most about him."

Some of the NRL captains join the traditional finals media launch via Zoom on Monday.
Some of the NRL captains join the traditional finals media launch via Zoom on Monday.

Cordner and the Roosters have been busy trying to fix what was a rugby league humiliation last Friday night - a 60-8 loss to bitter rivals South Sydney.

It rocked the premiers as they search for a rare and historic three-peat.

"I think we were a bit surprised too, to be honest. It was pretty embarrassing and we definitely didn't plan or see that coming. The last couple of days, we have come in and faced it head-on and had some pretty honest conversations," he said.

"It was important that we touched on it but, at the same time, we need to get rid of it pretty quickly too."

Asked about opponents Penrith, Cordner said: "People say in the NRL you have to be up, and it's a long year, but Penrith has been up for most of the year. And coming into finals, you get a new energy as well."


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