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Roosters can't fit Cooper in until 2014

Date

Brad Walter

Mulling it over … Quade Cooper, with Sonny Bill Williams and manager Khoder Nasser in Randwick on Tuesday night.

Mulling it over … Quade Cooper, with Sonny Bill Williams and manager Khoder Nasser in Randwick on Tuesday night. Photo: Jacky Ghossein

QUADE COOPER will hold a press conference in Brisbane next Monday to outline his reasons for quitting rugby union in Australia as a number of leading NRL figures declared he would be a welcome addition to the code.

Cooper is expected to box on the undercard of Sonny Bill Williams's rescheduled fight against South African heavyweight Francois Botha in February and the Sydney Roosters star recruit has made no secret of the fact he would like to play alongside the Wallabies playmaker next season.

The pair spent Tuesday together, attending a movie and having dinner at Pinocchio's restaurant at Randwick. However, Roosters officials said the pair would have to wait as they could not accommodate Cooper next year and few other NRL clubs have room in the salary cap to add a big name signing to their roster at this late stage.

Decision time ... Cooper's most likely option next year may be a move to France, where up to four clubs are believed to be interested in his services.

Decision time ... Cooper's most likely option next year may be a move to France, where up to four clubs are believed to be interested in his services. Photo: Getty Images

Instead, Cooper's most likely option next year may be a move to France, where up to four clubs are believed to be interested in his services after the ARU indicated they no longer wanted him in the game by offering him a mere incentive contract that he considers to be insulting.

While Cooper has agreed to a three-year deal with Queensland Reds, that was contingent on him receiving an ARU top-up. After withdrawing a previous offer, ARU chairman Michael Hawker passed on a revised deal that provided for match payments only for Test appearances with the Wallabies.

Cooper received the offer on November 8 - a week after he was handed a record $60,000 fine ($20,000 of which was suspended) and a suspended three-match ban for criticising the code and the atmosphere in the Wallabies' camp under coach Robbie Deans.

He has not yet responded to the offer but has told friends he sees no future for himself in Australian rugby union and is considering his options.

After growing up playing league alongside Sydney Roosters centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Cooper has long held an ambition to play in the NRL and he was meant to come to Australia with the Kiwi international to trial with clubs while living in a backpacker hostel. Despite accepting a rugby union scholarship after moving to Brisbane with his family, Cooper almost joined Melbourne in 2008 and the man who tried to sign him then, Sydney Roosters recruitment manager Peter O'Sullivan, still believes he would succeed in the NRL.

''We won't be going down that path but I am sure he would make a decent impression because he is a quality athlete,'' O'Sullivan said.

''He has got a great range of skills so I have no doubt he would be a good player. It would probably take him a little while to adapt to the NRL and from what I see he would be a natural league fullback.''

NSW Origin coach Laurie Daley also believes Cooper would ''most definitely'' make it in rugby league and compared him to Wests Tigers superstar Benji Marshall.

''He's very talented. I'm sure there'd be a few parties interested in his services,'' Daley said. ''I suppose he's a bit like Benji in terms of when he's got the ball in his hands he can make the opposition defence stop and it seems as though he's got plenty of time and ability. He has certainly, from what I've seen, got the skills to be capable of playing NRL.''

St George Illawarra and Gold Coast are the two clubs most likely to be able to accommodate Cooper under the salary cap but both said they were not intending to pursue him for next season.

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Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG -1vs FJI -1 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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