JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Quade Cooper spared an awkward round

Wallabies and Reds pivot Quade Cooper.

Wallabies and Reds pivot Quade Cooper. Photo: Getty Images

Quade Cooper's dodgy knee is likely to prevent him playing a rather awkward round of golf with Robbie Deans on Friday but he has found the most unlikely of allies in his critique of the Wallabies coach – none other than Richie McCaw.

Deans is scheduled to play in a Think Pink charity golf day at Hope Island, organised by Fainga'a twins Ant and Saia, to help raise money for breast cancer research.

Cooper was also slated to pick up the clubs, but it is understood recent surgery on his knee could stop him from teeing up the little white ball. It might also circumvent an inconvenient meeting with Deans, which you suspect would have taken place with tumbleweeds rolling past and everyone whistling to themselves.

The injured playmaker insists other Wallabies share his views about the toxicity of the Wallaby ecosystem but, as yet, none have been willing to pipe up. After a face-saving win over Argentina, it's unlikely any will come out of the woodwork next week as the Wallabies prepare for the October 20 Bledisloe at Suncorp Stadium.

And so it came to McCaw to give some credence from way, way out of left field to Cooper's concerns about the methods of Deans, the former Canterbury coach who was overlooked for the All Blacks job in favour of Graham Henry.

It was like Batman stopping to help the Joker change a tyre on the side of the freeway.

In his new book, which also squarely takes aim at his arch-enemy Cooper, the All Blacks captain details the reasons he supported Henry over Deans when he was asked about who should get the top job in New Zealand rugby.

“Robbie doesn't appear to want to be challenged by his assistants and won't allow the kind of full-on debate that Ted [Henry] encourages with Smith and Hansen,” McCaw wrote.

“Robbie's approach is to say, 'This is what we're doing,' then convince people that's the way it's got to be. He's very good at that.

“But when you look at the record of Robbie's assistant coaches, there's quite a lot of turnover and fallout. Robbie's intransigence and reluctance to delegate might have been a factor… if you look at the names of some of Robbie's assistants. Colin Cooper, Vern Cotter, Don Hayes, Todd Blackadder.

"It's tempting to draw the conclusion that if Robbie gets a strong assistant coach, the assistant won't last, and if he gets one that lasts, he's not that strong.”

Rest assured any support McCaw may have given to Cooper was purely accidental. He didn't miss the Reds star in his book, saying he believed the infamous knee to the head in Brisbane was deliberate.

“There was a bit of post-game controversy around Quade Cooper's attempt to knee me in the head as he was extricating himself from a ruck,” McCaw wrote.

“The intent of what he was trying to do pissed me off more than the execution. Shortly after that happened, I was carrying and should have passed, but I lit up and I saw Quade standing in front of me and clattered into him instead.

“I was disappointed in myself doing that, letting it get personal. There's no need – players like Quade get sorted. Sooner or later they get their beans.”

Cooper's outbursts was dismissed by many as the rantings of a squeaky wheel unable to cut it in Test rugby. He had denied that was his motivation and McCaw's evaluation of Deans may give some cause for reconsideration.

At the very least, McCaw's comments about Deans were more far more pointed and specific. Given his God-like status in New Zealand and lofty place in world rugby, they carry significantly more weight.

It will be an intriguing week for Deans and the Wallabies in Brisbane before next Saturday's Test. Cooper is unlikely to be part of any official Wallabies functions or events but his name will still be on everyone's lips as the Australians and All Blacks prepare in the Queensland capital.

The Wallabies have been in South Africa and Argentina for the entirety of the Cooper saga but will face more questions when they return home to more intense media scrutiny.

Questions about Cooper and McCaw aren't likely to be warmly welcomed by the Wallabies and the ARU will be hoping discussions centre on matters on the park, not about the future of the coach or state of the game.

19 comments

  • I hardly think Quade Cooper is McCaw's 'arch enemy'. More like an annoying grub, one that takes ineffectual and cowardly cheap-shots, before bravely running away...

    Commenter
    Dandy
    Date and time
    October 10, 2012, 11:47AM
    • right on the money dandy! and swat the annoying little bugger before he gets away!

      Commenter
      canuckiwi
      Location
      canada
      Date and time
      October 10, 2012, 12:54PM
    • I've been an admirer of McCaw's robust stud work for many years - limbs, backs, heads - whatever. It's a fine complement to his unique interpretation of coming in from the side and laying over the ball.
      Fierce competitor, sure, but I've always been mystified as to his saintly status over there. Great to have in your side, but a player who might be looked at very differently if we'd had competent refs over the years.
      Cooper is a very fine talent - who's now realised he stands Buckley's of ever being allowed to develop it in this climate. I'd be inclined to think his assessment of Rugby HQ in Aus. is probably pretty bang on the money.

      Commenter
      wimax
      Location
      SEQld
      Date and time
      October 10, 2012, 9:33PM
  • Cooper's more of an annoying bug who will be forever hated in NZ for his cowardly pokes at Richie. If he'd have fronted up like a man toe to toe then there would be respect. But kneeing a man lying prone on the ground? I look forward to the day Cooper comes to Christchurch.

    Commenter
    Bammer
    Location
    Chch
    Date and time
    October 10, 2012, 12:43PM
    • A kiwi whinging about dirty play? ha ha. New Zealand is known for producing the dirtiest players in rugby. Not only is dirty play condoned in nz, it is actually rewarded. Richard Loe has a gig writing for the NZ Herald and and an even bigger grub was given a knighthood - meads. No doubt McCaw will get one too.

      Commenter
      Ice
      Date and time
      October 10, 2012, 3:00PM
    • Let's not foprget the job done on Brian O'Driscoll by Umanga. Richie McCaw is in the best traditions of AB rugby - get away with what you can, and at all times keep a straight face.

      Commenter
      Any team playing the ABs
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      October 10, 2012, 4:22PM
    • Steady on boys! It's called clearing out the ruck! You boys need to stop being such sore losers and defy an age-long Aussie tradition. Foul play is never tolerated at any level in NZ rugby.

      Commenter
      Shano303
      Date and time
      October 10, 2012, 6:04PM
  • Beale seems to have benefited from Cooper's absence for the past fortnight so hope the ARU makes sure the 3 amigos don't have one of their late night parties until after the remaining test in Brisbane.

    Commenter
    Garryown
    Date and time
    October 10, 2012, 1:28PM
    • Let the truth be known Sir Ritchie, for it really was you that started this nonsense when you kicked out like a little lady boy, at Quade's knee, whilst on the ground in that now infamous 'Wallaby resurgence'?...ahem....Bledisloe played in Honkers....I think you must have been disheveled after QC cleared you out for your prying hands.....poor you Sir McCaw, you big tough guy you.
      Roll the tape Gyngell......
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkDTkXuxr7Q
      You can't blame a kid for sticking up for himself.....eye for an eye and all that.

      Commenter
      Professor
      Location
      Briz
      Date and time
      October 10, 2012, 1:39PM
      • Your just trying to wind up smh readers and rugby lovers with this tripe right? No follower of rugby union or anyone with an IQ above shoe size could possibly have written this sh.te
        R Mc Caw.........capt of his national team winning 100 of 112 tests, wc captain and winner, S15 winner how many times, IRB winner of year etc etc etc etc
        Q Cooper.........1 x S15 medal
        Never has been and never will be wobblies captain or wc winner or win another S15 medal etc etc etc
        So firstly take your regular medication and then think (maybe shut your eyes and put your hands in your pockets) really really hard before you answer this........who is the better rugby union player?
        Other questions re moral character, maturity, IQ and standing in the rugby world will most likely be way too much for you to contemplate.....leave that to us adults, ok?

        Ps........yes, McCaw will get a knighthood when he retires (already refused it).........Cooper?..........maybe the xxxx player of the year in NRL? (fat chance)

        Commenter
        headed off
        Location
        Guatavita, Colombia
        Date and time
        October 10, 2012, 5:49PM

    More comments

    Comments are now closed

    Related Coverage

    Super Rugby 2015

    Round 1
    Fri, 13 FebTimes shown AEDT
    CRU 10 vs REB 20 Report Stats
    BRU 47 vs RED 3 Stats
    Sat, 14 FebTimes shown AEDT
    LIO 8 vs HUR 22 Stats
    BLU 18 vs CHF 23 Report Stats
    Sun, 15 FebTimes shown AEDT
    SHA 29 vs CHT 35 Stats
    BUL 17 vs STO 29 Stats
    WAR 13 vs FOR 25 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 2
    Fri, 20 FebTimes shown AEDT
    CHF 19 vs BRU 17 Stats
    REB 28 vs WAR 38 Stats
    Sat, 21 FebTimes shown AEDT
    BUL 13 vs HUR 17 Stats
    HIG 20 vs CRU 26 Stats
    RED 18 vs FOR 6 Stats
    Sun, 22 FebTimes shown AEDT
    STO 27 vs BLU 16 Stats
    SHA 29 vs LIO 12 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 3
    Fri, 27 FebTimes shown AEDT
    HIG 20 vs RED 13 Stats
    FOR 13 vs HUR 42 Stats
    Sat, 28 FebTimes shown AEDT
    CHT 25 vs BLU 24 Stats
    CHF 40 vs CRU 16 Stats
    REB 15 vs BRU 20 Stats
    Sun, 01 MarTimes shown AEDT
    BUL 43 vs SHA 35 Stats
    LIO 19 vs STO 22 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 4
    Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
    CHF vs HIG 17:35WS
    BRU vs FOR 19:40GIO Stadium
    Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
    BLU vs LIO 17:35QBE Stadium
    RED vs WAR 19:40SS
    Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
    CHT vs BUL 02:05FSS
    STO vs SHA 04:10DHL Newlands
    View All Fixtures
    Round 5
    Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
    HUR vs BLU 17:35FMG Stadium
    FOR vs REB 22:00nib Stadium
    Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
    CRU vs LIO 14:30AMI
    HIG vs WAR 17:35FBS
    RED vs BRU 19:40SS
    Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
    STO vs CHF 00:00DHL Newlands
    CHT vs SHA 02:05FSS
    View All Fixtures
    Round 6
    Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
    HIG vs HUR 17:35FBS
    REB vs LIO 19:40AAMI
    Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
    CRU vs CHT 17:35AMI
    Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
    BUL vs FOR 02:05Loftus Versfeld
    SHA vs CHF 04:10Growthpoint Kings Park
    WAR vs BRU 16:05AS
    View All Fixtures
    Round 7
    Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
    HUR vs REB 17:35WS
    RED vs LIO 20:00SS
    Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
    CHF vs CHT 14:30WS
    HIG vs STO 17:35FBS
    WAR vs BLU 19:40AS
    Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
    SHA vs FOR 02:05Growthpoint Kings Park
    BUL vs CRU 04:10Loftus Versfeld
    View All Fixtures
    Round 8
    Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
    HUR vs STO 18:35WS
    REB vs RED 20:40AAMI
    Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
    CHF vs BLU 18:35WS
    BRU vs CHT 20:40GIO Stadium
    Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEDT
    SHA vs CRU 01:00Growthpoint Kings Park
    LIO vs BUL 02:05Emirates Airlines Park
    View All Fixtures
    Round 9
    Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
    BLU vs BRU 18:35EP
    Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
    CRU vs HIG 18:35AMI
    WAR vs STO 20:40AS
    FOR vs CHT 22:45nib Stadium
    Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
    BUL vs RED 00:00Loftus Versfeld
    LIO vs SHA 02:05Emirates Airlines Park
    View All Fixtures
    Round 10
    Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
    CRU vs CHF 18:35AMI
    Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
    HUR vs WAR 15:30WS
    HIG vs BLU 18:35FBS
    BRU vs REB 20:40GIO Stadium
    FOR vs STO 22:45nib Stadium
    Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
    SHA vs BUL 02:05Growthpoint Kings Park
    CHT vs RED 04:10FSS
    View All Fixtures
    Round 11
    Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
    CHF vs FOR 18:35WS
    BRU vs HIG 20:40GIO Stadium
    Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
    CRU vs BLU 18:35AMI
    WAR vs REB 20:40ANZ
    Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
    LIO vs CHT 02:05Emirates Airlines Park
    STO vs BUL 04:10DHL Newlands
    RED vs HUR 17:05SS
    View All Fixtures
    Round 12
    Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
    HIG vs SHA 18:35FBS
    BRU vs WAR 20:40GIO Stadium
    Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
    BLU vs FOR 16:30EP
    HUR vs CRU 18:35WS
    REB vs CHF 20:40AAMI
    Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
    CHT vs STO 02:05FSS
    BUL vs LIO 04:10Loftus Versfeld
    View All Fixtures
    Round 13
    Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
    CRU vs RED 18:35AMI
    REB vs BLU 20:40AAMI
    Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
    HUR vs SHA 18:35WS
    FOR vs WAR 20:40nib Stadium
    Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
    LIO vs HIG 00:00Emirates Airlines Park
    STO vs BRU 02:05DHL Newlands
    View All Fixtures
    Round 14
    Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
    BLU vs BUL 18:35EP
    RED vs REB 20:40SS
    Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
    HUR vs CHF 18:35WS
    WAR vs SHA 20:40AS
    Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
    LIO vs BRU 02:05Emirates Airlines Park
    CHT vs HIG 04:10FSS
    View All Fixtures
    Round 15
    Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
    CHF vs BUL 18:35Rotorua International Stadium
    RED vs SHA 20:40SS
    Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
    BLU vs HUR 18:35Emirates Airlines Park
    WAR vs CRU 20:40ANZ
    FOR vs HIG 22:45nib Stadium
    Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
    CHT vs LIO 02:05FSS
    STO vs REB 04:10DHL Newlands
    View All Fixtures
    Round 16
    Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
    CRU vs HUR 18:35Trafalgar Park
    BRU vs BUL 20:40GIO Stadium
    Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
    SHA vs REB 04:10Growthpoint Kings Park
    HIG vs CHF 18:35Rugby Park
    FOR vs RED 20:40nib Stadium
    Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
    STO vs CHT 02:05DHL Newlands
    LIO vs WAR 04:10Emirates Airlines Park
    View All Fixtures
    Round 17
    Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
    HUR vs HIG 18:35McLean Park
    FOR vs BRU 22:00nib Stadium
    Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
    REB vs BUL 16:30AAMI
    BLU vs CRU 18:35EP
    RED vs CHF 20:40SS
    Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
    CHT vs WAR 00:00FSS
    STO vs LIO 02:05DHL Newlands
    View All Fixtures
    Round 18
    Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
    BLU vs HIG 18:35EP
    REB vs FOR 20:40AAMI
    Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
    BRU vs CRU 16:30GIO Stadium
    CHF vs HUR 18:35Yarrow Stadium
    WAR vs RED 20:40AS
    Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
    BUL vs CHT 02:05Loftus Versfeld
    SHA vs STO 04:10Growthpoint Kings Park
    View All Fixtures
    Round 19
    Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
    7 vs 7 10:00
    Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
    7 vs 7 10:00
    View All Fixtures
    Round 20
    Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
    7 vs 7 10:00
    Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
    7 vs 7 10:00
    View All Fixtures
    Round 21
    Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
    7 vs 7 10:00
    View All Fixtures
    Super Rugby 2015
    Overall standings
    Team P W L D +/- Pts
    Brumbies 3 2 1 0 47 10
    Hurricanes 3 3 0 0 47 13
    Stormers 3 3 0 0 26 12
    Cheetahs 2 2 0 0 7 9
    Chiefs 3 3 0 0 31 13
    Rebels 3 1 2 0 -5 6
    Highlanders 2 1 1 0 1 5
    Sharks 3 1 2 0 3 6
    View all
     
    Featured advertisers