Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Rugby | International Rugby

Cooper quits the Wallabies - report



Controversial Wallaby flyhalf Quade Cooper has rejected a contract offer by the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) and may now pursue a career overseas or switch to Rugby League, local media reported on Monday.

Cooper had signed a three-year deal with his Super Rugby club Queensland Reds in June but that deal, reportedly worth around A$400,000 ($412,300) a year, is contingent upon a contract with the ARU with whom the 24-year-old has endured a fractious relationship.

Channel Nine news said on Monday the New Zealand-born flyhalf had rejected a low incentive-based ARU contract, and could now switch to the lucrative French Top 14 competition or to Rugby League.

New Zealand World Cup-winning centre Sonny Bill Williams quit Union and signed for the Sydney Roosters in Australia's National Rugby League (NRL) last week and said earlier this year he would only switch codes if Cooper followed suit.

"I reckon (Cooper) would be a huge success," Williams, also New Zealand's heavyweight boxing champion, said in September.

"He has definitely got the skill-set to play the 13-man game.

"The biggest difference is in rugby you are playing on the advantage line, whereas in league the defence is 10 metre back. Imagine what he could do with that extra space."

Cooper has not played for Australia since describing the team environment as 'toxic' - a comment which led the ARU to fine him $40 000 last month.

Cooper apologised after the fine, which included a further A$20,000 suspended for two years, the latest black mark on his troubled spell with the Wallabies.

On the pitch and on his game, Cooper is one of the best flyhalves in world rugby but headlines have not all centred on his abundance of attacking-talent.

Cooper was fined A$10,000 by the ARU in 2009 after breaking the window of a taxi, with a burglary charge against him dropped the following year after a justice mediation process.

He led the Queensland Reds to a first Super Rugby title in 2011 after forming a devastating partnership with scrumhalf Will Genia and the two were also at the centre of the Wallabies success in the final Tri-Nations that same year.

Cooper accepted the role of public enemy number one when he returned to his homeland for the 2011 World Cup but a low-key tournament for the flyhalf ended with knee reconstruction surgery after injury in the third-placed playoff win over Wales.

In his absence, Melbourne Rebels back Kurtley Beale has showcased his talents at the fulcrum of the Wallabies side with Berrick Barnes, Mike Harris and James O'Connor able alternatives that have shown coach Robbie Deans that Cooper is no longer irreplaceable.

While a switch to League remains the most likely destination for Cooper, the lucrative French league, where former Wallabies flyhalf Matt Giteau plies his trade, is another viable option.

Shop

The Poisoned Chalice
The Springboks have had several post-isolation coaches, and if they agree on nothing else, they will concur that everyone in the job suffers enormous pressure
R157.00
Coach - Marco Botha
At 34, Heyneke Meyer was fired as head coach of a Super Rugby team for the second time
R114.00
South Africa XV Ball
South Africa XV Ball Now: R119 Was: R200 Format:Sport EquipmentProduct type:SportDelivery:Dispatched within 24 hours (1 working day) This fan ball...
R119.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Latest Video Highlights

Sports Talk



Kyle Brown
Fans, fun and Sevens success
The week leading up to the Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens was a special one. The fans were passionate,...

Brendan Venter
Boks must think outside the box
Springbok supporters have every right to feel disenchanted after an underwhelming end-of-year tour.

Tony Johnson
Boks and Wallabies burnt in final outings
Playing the last test of the year in the last week of November has again proven to be a stumbling...

Gavin Rich
Boks learned quite a lot actually
When SuperSport returned from the Millennium Stadium to the studio discussion, it was mentioned...