Cooper Cronk is leaving Melbourne Storm so his fiancee can pursue her career.

After several years in a long-distance relationship, NRL star Cooper Cronk and Fox Sports presenter Tara Rushton will finally live in the same city, with Cronk announcing he’ll leave Melbourne Storm after 14 years to join his fiancee in Sydney.

Despite being at the height of his career, the highly decorated player will relocate to be with his partner because, as he explained in an emotional press conference on Tuesday afternoon, “there’s more to life than football”.

“She loves Melbourne but the funny thing is, she’s worked really hard to get where she is,” the 33-year-old told reporters.

“And we’ve had a thousand discussions about the possibilities of things but I’m not about to ask her or force her to give up what she’s worked so hard for.

Cooper Cronk will move to be with his partner Tara Rushton. Source: Instagram/Tara Rushton

“I think I’m in a position to sacrifice what I’ve done and I’d be more than willing to sacrifice anything that I’ve done for our relationship going forward into the future.”

Cronk will leave the Melbourne Storm at the end of the 2017 season, with his coach Craig Bellamy labeling the halfback a "very, very hard guy to replace" and is expected to sign with a NSW-based side by next year.

The two-time Daly M winner prefaced his shock announcement by saying he'd happily stay put long-term if it was "a football decision".

A post shared by Tara Rushton (@tararushtonfox) on


“I’m jealous of the guys who have their families here, who have their loved ones and have football in the same city,” he said.

“Unfortunately — or fortunately — whichever side you sit on, it’s time for me to try and prioritise my time and my future and that’s why I’ve made the announcement.

"There’s a few things in life that are more important than football, like family, getting married and a future."

A post shared by Tara Rushton (@tararushtonfox) on

Rushton, 32, returned to Australia from Singapore in 2013 to take up her current position at Fox Sports and in 2015 was nominated for an ASTRA award for Most Outstanding Female Presenter.

The couple became engaged earlier this year.

“I’ve been pretty selfish in my approach to my football career and I think it’s time I put someone else and something else first," Cronk said.

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