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SBW offers pay cut to get Cooper to Roosters

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Sonny Bill would pay Cooper to play league

Sonny Bill Williams says he would give Quade Cooper "half my pay packet" to lure him to rugby league as the pair announces a fight night in Brisbane on February 8.

PT0M0S 620 349

QUADE COOPER still wants to play for the Wallabies, but if the ARU don't reverse their decision to effectively offer him match payments only, Sonny Bill Williams is prepared to take a pay cut to accommodate him at Sydney Roosters.

Williams made the extraordinary offer at a press conference to announce he was fighting Francois Botha for the WBA International heavyweight belt, and later told Fairfax Media he had already mentioned the idea to Roosters teammates.

However, Cooper said his first preference would be to reach agreement with the ARU on a contract that would enable him to honour a three-year deal he signed with the Queensland Reds and continue playing for Wallabies.

Chin wagging ... Sonny Bill Williams hopes to lure Wallaby Quade Cooper to the Sydney Roosters.

Chin wagging ... Sonny Bill Williams hopes to lure Wallaby Quade Cooper to the Sydney Roosters. Photo: Getty Images

Cooper left no doubt at the press conference of his passion for the Reds, but unless he accepts an incentive-based ARU contract that guarantees him half of his current $600,000 per season deal he cannot play Super Rugby next season.

''I have already got an agreement signed and sealed with the Queensland Reds and that is something I would love to honour but at the moment the powers that be are not allowing that,'' Cooper said.

Asked about the possibility of only committing to his $400,000 deal with the Reds if the ARU did not improve their offer, Cooper told Fairfax: ''That would be an ideal world I guess, but I've still got a major desire to represent the Wallabies.

''To represent your country and test yourself against the best is something I love doing and something I would never ever close the door on but if we can't come to an agreement that can't happen.''

Despite the stand-off with the ARU, which Cooper's manager Khoder Nasser described as a ''major breakdown in communication'', the 24-year-old attended Reds training before the press conference on Monday at Brisbane Entertainment Centre.

Cooper's supporters within the game believe the situation would change dramatically if Wallabies coach Robbie Deans were sacked and replaced by Reds coach Ewen McKenzie, with whom he has a good relationshiph.

However, Cooper indicated he was already considering other options and a stint in France's Top 14 rugby union competition is a genuine possibility.

''I don't like dealing with things that I have no control over but at the moment it is totally out of my hands, so I have had to make sure I have got things ready to go in case things don't come to fruition,'' he said. ''The boxing has opened a massive door and I have great respect and thank Sonny for allowing me the opportunity.''

Williams, whose $750,000 payout to the Bulldogs when he walked out on a contract in 2008 was covered by friend Anthony Mundine, said he was prepared to extend similar generosity to Cooper if he was able to join the Roosters next season.

''I have been one of his big supporters even before we joined up as a team and I have no doubt that he has got that ability to succeed in the 13-man game,'' Williams said. ''I would probably go as far as to say that I, myself, would give him half my pay packet to lure him across, and they're not just words. I would really do that because I think he would be great not just for the game but great for our club as well.''

Speaking to Fairfax, Williams said: ''I have said it to a couple of players at the Roosters,. I don't know if they thought I was serious or not, but that is just how it is with our team. If one of us can help the other, we are prepared to do that.''

Cooper grew up playing league in New Zealand with Roosters centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall and he said the possibility of boxing, having a stint in the NRL and playing rugby union in France or Japan all in the one season appealed to him.

''That is very much a possibility and that has never been done before, so that would be a major achievement,'' he said.

Roosters chief executive Brian Canavan said Williams's proposal had not been discussed by club management.

''Quade is a good player but it is not something we have considered and at this stage we have got our positions filled,'' Canavan said.

62 comments

  • "to offer him a contract more befitting his status in the game....."

    Given his performance over the last 12 months, both on and off the field, that is exactly what the ARU offered him.

    Commenter
    Paul
    Date and time
    November 26, 2012, 3:26PM
    • too true

      Commenter
      Simon
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      November 26, 2012, 4:48PM
  • The best laugh I've had this month, the only man to pull on a Wallaby jersey that can't tackle wants to play Rugby League LMFAO !!!
    Plus he wants to box in the same weight class as Danny Green ... Nope it's not April 1.
    SBW & Quade are starting to believe the hype from Nasser, become more like Mundine everyday .

    Commenter
    Aquashot
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    November 26, 2012, 3:28PM
    • Copper & SBW have the same manager. Now how do we get around that bloody salary cap.........I am giving half of mine to him......that will work.

      Commenter
      Bazza
      Date and time
      November 26, 2012, 3:52PM
    • And there's the problem. I appreciate that these guys have a short career and have to make the most of it, but their attitude (and it can't be a coincidence that everyone on Nasser's roster shares the same attitude) is much better suited to individual sports. A group of 15 mercenaries, no matter how skilled they are, will get slaughtered by a true team everyday of the week.

      Commenter
      Harvey K-Tel
      Date and time
      November 26, 2012, 4:40PM
  • After watching Kurtley Beale botch yet another game at 5/8 against Italy, the ARU needs to swallow its pride and get Quade back in the fold. We need him more than ever.

    Commenter
    Les
    Date and time
    November 26, 2012, 3:29PM
    • As opposed to all the games QC botched? Including the entire RWC?

      Commenter
      Paul
      Date and time
      November 26, 2012, 3:40PM
    • So you can blame Quade for the entire team performance? My point was that Beale is not a good 5/8. You seem to be unable to grasp that point or can't read...

      Commenter
      Les
      Date and time
      November 26, 2012, 3:57PM
    • Les, quade is terrible. he is a Super 15 player. not a test player.

      having him in the team is cancerous.

      And yes Quade signle handedly lost the RWC for Australia, if you dont beleive it you are delusional.

      Commenter
      JordanS88
      Date and time
      November 26, 2012, 4:36PM
    • Whoa! Don't be mean Les! Beale isn't much better at fly half than Cooper, but Barnes is better than them both. Lealiifano is the long term solution.

      Commenter
      MT
      Date and time
      November 26, 2012, 4:50PM

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