Super Rugby
Cooper eyes Reds century
ESPNscrum Staff
February 16, 2011
Reds fly-half Quade Cooper stretches the Highlanders' defence, Reds v Highlanders, Super 14, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia, May 15, 2010
Quade Cooper is hoping to bring up a century for the Reds © Getty Images

Quade Cooper will win his 50th cap for Queensland when they take on the Western Force in their Super Rugby opener on Sunday and the Wallaby playmaker has already set his sights on racking up a ton in Reds colours.

The 22-year-old, a target for a number of NRL clubs during last season, has hinted that his future lies in the 15-man code beyond this year's Rugby World Cup.

Cooper agreed a new one-year deal with the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) in September last year, turning down advances from the Parramatta Eels in the process, but his comments prior to the Reds' season kick-off suggest that there's more to come from him in a Wallabies jersey.

"It did come around very quickly. I remember coming out here as an 18 year old and hoping to play 50 games, then setting the goal to play 100," Cooper said. "Running out for my 50th is going to be a big occasion for me and something I'll very much look forward to. I don't want to look too far ahead but they are little goals I'd like to achieve.

"You look at the guys who've gone ahead - Chris Latham, Tim Horan, Mark Connors, those kind of guys who have played 100-plus games. To be mentioned in the same sentence as them would be a great honour for me."

Cooper did refuse to be pinned down on his future plans but left reporters in no doubt as to his desire to succeed with Australia at the World Cup.

"I think my priority this year is just playing this year and playing well. It's going to be a big year not only for myself and the Reds but for Australia as a whole," Cooper said. "The World Cup is going to be great for us and a lot of young guys are getting a taste of that.

"If we can do well for Queensland and hopefully get picked in the World Cup squad, go over to New Zealand and do well there, who knows what will happen?

"I'm just putting my all into rugby at the moment. I'm contracted here. There's no use rushing it. But at the same time, if it comes around quicker or a decision is made before, who knows. I'm not going to put a time frame on it."

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