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Quade's quite correct, there is a toxic element to the camp - it's him


Spiro Zavos

THOSE outrageous and deceptive dummies, passes, dinky kicks and runs that used to come off for Quade Cooper on the rugby field and no longer do at Test level are being replicated off the field.

The fact about his incessant, self-indulgent and deceitful twittering is that he is deliberately undermining the Australian Rugby Union, the Wallabies and their coaching staff with his accusation there is a "toxic environment" in the Wallabies.

On Sunday Cooper was quoted as saying the Wallabies will lose fans and Bledisloe Cup Tests if they continued to play "a boring, conservative style". This was followed by several tweets claiming "there's s--- going on behind and above the players" and "I want to play with SonnyBWilliams".

Cooper also endorsed the changes made by the Reds over the past couple of years. He did not acknowledge that these changes were initiated, paid for with a loan and carried through by the ARU.

On Wednesday the chief executive of the Reds, Jim Carmichael, issued a media release headed: An Open Letter To Reds Members. "Quade has no interest in leaving the Reds," the letter stated. "He loves playing for Queensland and representing his country."

Then this statement: "Also there have been suggestions in the media that Quade's actions are part of a Queensland Rugby campaign to bring about a coaching change at a national level, however, I can assure you this is not correct." This is disingenuous. There is a Queensland push for Ewen McKenzie to become the Wallabies coach and Carmichael to succeed John O'Neill as the ARU's chief executive

The point here is that Carmichael knows how Cooper and his manager Khoder Nasser (who is also the manager of Sonny Bill Williams) have behaved in their contract negotiations with the ARU. Cooper signed with the Queensland Rugby Union in June. He was made a joint ARU/QRU offer a month later. Demands for a sabbatical in Japan and a boxing match deal for Cooper were made by Nasser.

The ARU improved its financial offer and allowed the boxing deal. Tim Horan has revealed that this offer "is as high as what he was earning last year".

Nasser has refused to sign off on this offer. He let it lie on the table for two months. Nasser finally agreed to meet the ARU on Tuesday. He didn't turn up for the meeting because several days before this Cooper started his latest round of manic tweets that demonstrated, if more evidence is needed, that he is prepared to poison the well on the negotiations.

Why would Carmichael, who knows this history, publish such a self-serving newsletter to Reds supporters? Is it unreasonable to suggest it is an attempt to create the impression within the rugby community that the QRU supports the complaints made by Cooper?

On Thursday night, appearing on The Rugby Club, Cooper gave a rambling, incoherent interview in which he claimed the Wallabies "environment is killing me as a player and as person". He was not asked about his off-field entanglements with the law (albeit with charges against him being dropped) and his latest adventure, on Thursday last week at 2am, when he, Kurtley Beale and Digby Ioane were involved in a minor car accident. He described the Wallaby jersey as "yellow".

What is this all about? He could not give one reason why he could not sign the contract offered to him by the ARU. Cooper, who has a contract with Fox Sports, made inane comments about poor facilities for the Wallabies, a claim that is palpably incorrect but was not challenged by the interviewers.

He was not forced to acknowledge that senior players are furious with his claims that the Wallaby environment is "very unhappy".

Nor was he forced to give an answer to the matter of his unsigned contract. If he wants to stay in Australian rugby, why doesn't he sign the generous ARU contract?

He is not the victim in this matter. He is the toxic element in the Wallabies. The team will be better off without him.

81 comments so far

  • I couldn't agree more Spiro. Cooper was weighed and measured during the WRC and found wanting. His recent form has been poor and instead of taking the path of honest self assessment, he resorts to his "vane glorious" self indulgent "tweeting" and attempting to shift the blame to others.
    Unfortunately the "three amigos" appear to believe their own press and somehow believe them selves to be above the team and all that goes with being a part of it. I hope that Beale's recent humiliations may have taught him a life lesson, let's keep our fingers crossed. So far these "children" have displayed the very worst that gen Y has to offer.
    Cooper, SBW and Mundine, what a disaffected unedifying triumvirate they are, all managed by that "pimp" Nasser. Let Cooper try and ride the coat tails of SBW, it won't be long until he realises that his aspirations far outweigh the reality of his abilities. The ARU should let him go with a smile and a sigh of relief.
    As for Greg Martin and the rugby club? What a clown he is!

    Ban the boot
    Date and time
    September 29, 2012, 9:13AM
    • Well said. We have seen this sort of behaviour b4 from Wallaby seniors. How did that end? Not well. ARU needs to be refreshed and aus step up. They are capable of playing better, but the ARU lacks true leadership and vision. QC would never be tolerated by NZRFU. Not saying that NZ is better, but the results speak loudly. As for wanting to play with SBW, they may be mates, but u don't see SBW behaving like a pork chop. He takes it out on the paddock and puts his money where his mouth is.

      Date and time
      October 02, 2012, 4:46PM
  • Another day another whinge by Cooper - always seeking to blame everyone for his poor form - the fact is is that Quade hasnt played a decent game since the reds won the super rugby, even then he was sporadic. The 2011 rugby world cup just showed him up to be a second rate international player at best and I feel this blame seeking behaviour merely confirms the guy simply cant hack it...

    The Burbs
    Date and time
    September 29, 2012, 9:31AM
    • As an allblack supporter i hope Quade plays for the Wallabies again as his inability to perform under pressure is always worth a few points to us and any team opossing the aussies.

      Date and time
      September 29, 2012, 9:35AM
      • Cooper is not even good enough to make a NZ high school 1st XV. This guy is overrated. Time ARFU let him go.

        AB Supporter
        Date and time
        October 02, 2012, 9:37AM
    • "I want to play with SonnyBWilliams" LOL dont we all wish that.
      SBW woud make a 50 year old prop playing at first five look good.

      Maybe QC could cut cane or plant pine trees or get a job at the local freezing works instead of aimless chip kicks and inane tweets.

      Date and time
      September 29, 2012, 9:47AM
      • Are you blind or have you just not seen SBW play? You might not like him but the guy can play rugby far better than most. You don't win a Super 15 title get selected to play for the All Blacks for two years without being fairly good.

        Date and time
        September 30, 2012, 8:12AM
      • @NB - I believe the comment was meant that if SBW is so good that he would make the person delivering the ball to him look better than they actually are, not that SBW is so bad he would make anyone else look good.

        Date and time
        September 30, 2012, 5:02PM
      • @NB - if you could read properly, you'd realize that stojo01 was saying that BECAUSE he's so good, a prop playing 5/8 would look good merely by getting the ball to SBW and letting him do his thing. ...

        Hugh Briss
        Golden Coast
        Date and time
        October 01, 2012, 5:38AM
    • This is the behaviour of a Rugby League player. This is where he should go, he will fit right in. Based on events this week, he is a a short priced favourite to be an 'immortal' as RL rewards bad behaviour with dementia it ever occurred.

      Date and time
      September 29, 2012, 9:57AM

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