Super Rugby
Reds adamant that Cooper is staying
ESPN Staff
September 26, 2012
Australia's Quade Cooper warms up for his side's clash with Argentina, Southport School, Gold Coast, Australia, September 13, 2012,
The Reds are adamant that Cooper is staying © PA Photos

Reds CEO Jim Carmichael has dismissed reports that Quade Cooper could leave the franchise and has emphasised that the fly-half's criticism of the Australian Rugby Union is not an attempt to bring about a coaching change in the Wallabies set-up.

Cooper has been in the headlines recently for his very open criticism of the ARU and the Wallabies. He has described the environment in the camp as "toxic" and has also hinted at the coaches not allowing him to play his normal expansive game. This has led to suggestions that he is pondering a switch to rugby league to line up alongside his friend Sonny Bill Williams.

But the Reds are adamant that Cooper - who penned a new three-year deal with the franchise back in June - is staying in Queensland. Carmichael wrote an open letter to the fans which read: "You may have already seen my comments in the media however let me reassure you that Quade has no interest in leaving the Reds.

"He loves playing for Queensland and representing his country and has reaffirmed his commitment to our organisation on several occasions, and again as late as yesterday afternoon."

The Reds CEO also rubbished rumours that Cooper's outburst was with a view to putting pressure on Wallabies boss Robbie Deans. He is currently a man under pressure with just two wins in 16 games against their trans-Tasman rivals the All Blacks and Reds director of rugby Ewen McKenzie is widely regarded as the favourite to replace Deans.

"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 that this is not correct," Carmichael added. "As you are aware, it has been our intent for some time to have Ewen McKenzie as the Reds director of coaching in 2013 along with Richard Graham, Jim McKay and the rest of our high performance staff, to ensure that the St.George Queensland Reds continue to be successful.

"In 2014, our plan is for Ewen to assume the role of director of rugby as part of our wider strategies around participation growth and elite talent identification, development and retention in Queensland."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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