"It was one of the scariest moments of my footy career": Quade Cooper of the Queensland Reds. Photo: Getty Images
There are no hard feelings towards the hard-hitting Melbourne Rebels but Queensland Reds playmaker Quade Cooper has hinted that the crusher tackle that injured his neck in a trial should be investigated by the ARU.
A stiff and sore Cooper on Tuesday confirmed he would play the Reds’ Super Rugby season opener against the Brumbies in Canberra on Saturday night, after completing a second session since the trial hit that left him hospitalised.
Scans cleared Cooper of damage after he copped a heavy tackle by bulky back-rower Lopeti Timani and was stretchered off late in the Reds’ 18-13 trial loss to Melbourne on Friday night.
‘‘I don’t harbour any hard feelings towards any of the Rebels for the way they played the game, they played with great physicality,’’ Cooper said.
‘‘That’s what you sign up for when you play rugby.
‘‘There was a bit of a crusher tackle about it, but at the end of the day freak accidents happen all the time - I am happy I came out unscathed.’’
But asked if the crusher tackle should be looked at by the ARU after enduring ‘‘one of the scariest moments of my footy career’’, Cooper said: ‘‘There are always areas that can be investigated.
‘‘Rugby league have really cracked down on those sorts of tackles.
‘‘They have taken out the shoulder charge which has helped in bringing down the concussion rate.
‘‘I think there are only rules about lifting tackles in rugby.
‘‘You can chicken wing, crusher tackle. I don’t think there is anything stopping you from doing that - (but) that’s for other people to look at.’’
Cooper wore neck strapping at training on Tuesday before media were asked to leave the closed session.
But the Wallabies vice-captain ruled out wearing any protective gear against the Brumbies.
‘‘I feel pretty good. I am quite grateful to be up and about,’’ he said.
‘‘Medically I have got the all clear. It is up to me and I am 100 per cent (certain he can play).’’
Cooper said he expects his neck to be ‘‘stiff for a little while’’ after suffering the whiplash injury that he admits gave him a big fright.
‘‘It was one of the scariest moments of my footy career,’’ he said of being stretchered off.
‘‘I thank the medical staff for following all the procedures and all the hospital staff.
‘‘I was pretty scared and in a position you’d never want to see anyone in.
‘‘I am very grateful to be standing in front of you without any serious damage.’’