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Quade goes it alone

Opinion

Quade Cooper has spoken up. Woe to him, all of the other players in and around the greater Wallaby universe are choosing to forever hold their peace.

This was always going to be the big gamble for Cooper once he made the decision to become a rogue agent. When you begin operations against The Company, you've got to be able to count on a few foot soldiers to take up arms for the cause.

At the moment, any potential allies in the squabble with Robbie Deans and the Australian Rugby Union are still at the start line, peering through binoculars and seeing how far Cooper can make it before he gets taken out.

Meanwhile, Cooper is staring back from no-man's land, trying to urge them forward from their foxholes and attempting to convince the public they aren't a figment of his imagination.

You can't knock Cooper's bravado. On Fox last night, not only did he not back down from his gripes with the Australian game, he took it to a new level. Sports writers frequently complain about the generic non-opinions they get from footballers. Here's one leaving it all on the line.

But unless he finds some support from current and recent team-mates, the first rule of Quade Club is still "There is no Quade Club". His concerns, many potentially warranted, will thus be painted as the rantings of a disgruntled goose-stepper squeezing off shots as he chips-and-chases into the sunset.

Cooper has no doubts there are kindred spirits within the Wallabies. And any reporter who has picked up a phone in relation to this story this week has been assured he's not a lone cat howling on the fence about the issues within Australian rugby.

"There's no doubt that other people feel the same. I've just spoken up about being unhappy. Whether people choose to speak up, that's their choice," Cooper told The Rugby Club.

"There's no doubt that there's support amongst the boys. There are going to be people that are happy and some are unhappy."

So where are they? Happy or unhappy - the rugby public will take anything at this point.

It's unfair to expect players to buy into a discussion like this so close to a Test match. But when the dust has settled against the Springboks, surely there's a responsibility on some gutsy players to either take umbrage at Cooper's assertions or saddle up next to him.

The closest anybody has come is injured winger Drew Mitchell, who went on Twitter to post: "Finding it increasingly difficult to bite my tongue........." Whether he meant he was tired of Cooper's tirade, or agreed with him on every point, or simply finds it challenging to bite his tongue, nobody knows.

At long last, the ARU has surged off the ropes and swung a few shots of its own. John O'Neill felt compelled to refute some of Cooper's comments, saying they had left him "utterly confused". It's a start but hearing from management isn't enough, mostly because they're the guys Cooper and his supposed band of unmerry men are revolting against.

The main acts in all of this - the players - are yet to make a meaningful peep. Only injured halfback Will Genia has elaborated to any great detail, saying the Test in Africa will reveal the true character of the side. He's had a dollar each way.

Things may be all good and happy and peachy in the Wallabies, in which case Cooper will continue to find himself alienated from the group and even some of his Reds comrades. But if he's right, a notion some of his detractors don't seem willing to consider, then his fellow players shouldn't feel particularly proud about watching him flame out in public while they tow the company line.

Cooper has made his move. The most pressing question now is not where he will be playing next season - but whether anyone else in the game has the kahunas to either take him on or give credence to his concerns.

33 comments

  • It is no secret there are issues with the Wallaby set up. As a Rugby Supporter this what I see:

    1 - Quade Cooper a rubbishRugby Union Player. He should have never been a Wallaby. plain and simple. He should quietly dissappear

    2. ARU lost the plot a few years ago, when instead of focussing on long term strategies and develop good talent, it tried to manufacture results by poaching LEague players. Biggest mistake ever but sadly the lesson appears to have not been learnt
    3. Robbie Deans was the best available coah but sadly the talent available for selection is poor.
    4. There is no quick fix.. focus should be on longer term development otherwise we will continue to be up and down

    5. ARU must have a revamp with people who want to further rugby.

    6. The Australian Rugby team should be called the "AUSTRALIAN WALLABIES" not "QANTAS WALLABIES" - THey dont represent QANTAS for pete's sake they represent Australia

    Commenter
    Wallaby Supporter
    Location
    Auckland
    Date and time
    September 28, 2012, 2:07PM
    • I think the Deans experiment has failed across the board.
      In fact I reckon they should drop all of the imported personnel and get people in who will have true pride in the Jumper and the games outcome.

      Commenter
      hooker on the
      Location
      blindside
      Date and time
      September 28, 2012, 5:20PM
    • What Quade is protesting is Deans' conservative tactics. He wants to attack.

      But the problem the Wallabies have against the All Blacks is that they get no room.

      Why is that? Ask Robbie Deans.

      Commenter
      Frank MacGill
      Location
      Queensland
      Date and time
      September 29, 2012, 3:12AM
  • No actually Phil, the question IS where will he be playing his brand of rugby next season! He claimed he would not have played were he fit and selected to play for his country..........WHAT?? This has always been a power play by his "management team". He truly believes he is bigger than the game. Please ARU..........show him the door. You can bet the ARU are going to back Deans regardless (as they should IMO)
    This guy is a maverick and has shown nothing on the field in the last 12 months........his only claim to fame is 2011 S15.
    He will not be missed except by AB supporters who do love watching him fumble along

    Where is his professionalism (and the other amigos) to be carousing at 2am the morning before an international flight to SA? Suggest that after the police were involved etc they barely had time to get back to hotel to finish packing bags.
    It does appear that only red supporters are in his camp

    Commenter
    headed off
    Location
    Guatavita, Colombia
    Date and time
    September 28, 2012, 2:49PM
    • @ headed off
      Have to agree that this smacks of him and his management creating a situation so as to enable QC to get-out of his obligations to the Reds (and the ARU) with-out becoming the (further) 'hated one'. It's NO coincidence that his good mate SBW become the 'hated one' when he left the Bulldogs and WHO is their Manager ??
      Hence create a 'storm' whereby it will appear that the ARU are the 'hated ones' because they wouldn't agree contractually with QC and then he's right and justified to piss-off to League to play with his buddy ! Come-up with 'poor training facilities' that confuse 'em.
      If anybody got a better read on this it would only be QC and his management. And yeah it's not about the money, it's ALL about QC. Further, forgive me for being old fashion, but that is soooo Y Gen and my brand.

      Commenter
      Machooka
      Location
      inner west sydney
      Date and time
      September 28, 2012, 3:32PM
  • And people wonder why the Wallabies have been hot and cold during Deans coaching period. Hello, is anybody home ? Can the ARU afford to dump their most marketable, exciting, crowd attracting player and go back to playing Boretahs rugby with Berrick Barnes kicking the ball away all the time ? That will be a laugh. They might as well resign now. Incredibly poor player management yet it was similar discontent when Deans was assistant coach of the All Blacks. Anybody see a pattern yet ? Why is the ARU letting an ex All Black like Deans ruin the Wallabies ? Are they trying to cobble their own team ?

    Commenter
    johnny-boy
    Date and time
    September 28, 2012, 3:05PM
    • Not only can they afford to dump Cooper, they can't afford not to!

      Deans has made mistakes, definitely, and the biggest one was giving Cooper so many opportunities and second chances.

      Cooper is the worst 5/8th ever to play for Australia, and yet he appears on TV demanding this and that, and comparing himself to SBW.

      Yes, SBW made some bad decisions, but he came through them by working hard and playing well.

      Cooper seems to think he can just bitch and moan till he gets what he wants.

      Door's over there mate, don't let it hit you in the arse.

      Commenter
      piru
      Location
      Perth via Rakaia
      Date and time
      September 28, 2012, 4:47PM
  • If he does go to the Roosters will he be eligible for NSW?

    That would be a smart move for him because with Thurston,Cronk, and Cherry Evans in front of him he won't play in the halves for QLD.

    Fullback? Slater, Inglis, Barba, Bowen - no chance there either.

    If he finds the Wallabies toxic - he will love the poison palace at Bondi.

    Commenter
    Barry
    Location
    Indooroopilly
    Date and time
    September 28, 2012, 3:12PM
    • These are the rantings of an out of form sportsman who simply can't handle the pressure the elite level brings with it. He has had dreadful RWC (where he somehow thought it would be a good idea to make himself public enemy number 1.......didn't that work well), an injury, ordinary super season, a couple of ordinary tests after that, followed by another injury. Yeah Quade, of course, it's the environment, the coach.....it's anyone else but you really isn't it.......

      Commenter
      jonoinmanila
      Location
      Manila
      Date and time
      September 28, 2012, 3:16PM
      • Quade Cooper is a very good Super 15 player but he isn't a world class first five. He's very average as his recent tests in the Wallaby jersey have proven. Surely he can't blame his mistakes on team management? Australia have had some amazing world class 1st 5's in the past like Mark Ella, Michael Lynagh and more recently Stephen Larkham. Australia has some world class players at the moment like Will Genia and David Pocock but Quade simply isn't one of them. Cooper wouldn't make the All Blacks-he simply isn't consistent enough. Genia and Pocock would if they were Kiwis. Robbie Deans is a good coach but at the moment Australia just doesn't have the depth or class to be no 1 in the world. They are no 2 which is a great achievement. I'm not sure why people in Australia think that's a bad thing considering the pool of talent at their disposal. It all goes in cycles. Australia is a great sporting nation and usually beat us Kiwis in most sports apart from rugby union. I'm proud that the ABs have dominated the Wallabies for so long. But it's our national sport-not yours. I'm looking forward to the days when we can beat you guys in cricket and league on a consistent basis but I'm not going to be calling for our coaches demise if we don't.

        Commenter
        Kiwi
        Location
        NZ
        Date and time
        September 28, 2012, 3:22PM

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