Australian Rugby
Cooper slams 'toxic' Wallabies
ESPN Staff
September 24, 2012
Wallabies fly-half Quade Cooper comes under the full glare of the media, Australia press conference, Rugby World Cup 2011, Crowne Plaza hotel, Auckland, New Zealand, September 7, 2011
Quade Cooper's comments will come under the microscope © Getty Images

Quade Cooper has described the Wallabies environment as 'toxic' but has reiterated his support for under fire boss Robbie Deans.

Cooper voiced his frustration with the current Australian Rugby Union/Wallabies set-up over the weekend with a series of Tweets. He is currently sidelined with a knee injury and has hinted at a possible switch to rugby league to play alongside Sonny Bill Williams in the future.

But with his comments appearing to be a dig at Wallabies boss Deans, he clarified these on Sunday but still lashed out at the ARU. "There's a lot of people who are afraid to say what they feel so they just go along with it and nothing is going to change," Cooper said. "That's why I feel so strongly as a player. I don't want to be involved in the toxic environment, and that's how it is at the moment.

"It's an environment where things aren't going according to plan and everyone is looking to point the finger. All I want to do is fix the problems and get on with it and win rugby games.

"That's not to say I'm not supporting Robbie. He's done a lot for me as a kid coming through. I'm very respectful to Robbie and I'm very thankful to Robbie as well for giving me the opportunity that he has."

Cooper's future is uncertain - he has penned a three-year deal with the Reds but this is yet to be ratified by the ARU. "I don't want to come across as a mercenary but I feel very strongly about how this is run because I'm part of it and I want to succeed," Cooper said.

"There would have to be big things to take me away from the game but at the same time I don't want to be a pawn in things that aren't moving forward."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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