Quade Cooper quits the Wallabies?
November 19, 2012
Australia's Quade Cooper has reportedly turned his back on the Green and Gold after failing to secure a satisfactory contract © Getty Images
Headline-grabbing fly-half Quade Cooper has reportedly rejected a contract offer from the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) and may now opt for a move overseas or to rugby league.
Channel Nine News are reporting that Cooper has decided to quit Australia after only being offered an incentive-based deal from the ARU that is normally reserved for rookie internationals. The 24-year-old playmaker, fined and threatened with a suspension last month after publically criticising the Wallabies' set-up, signed a new three-year contract with the Reds earlier this season but that deal was dependent on a satisfactory top-up arrangement with the ARU.
Cooper, sidelined for Australia's end of year tour with a knee injury, has previously been linked with a move to rugby league while he has also hinted at a possible move overseas or a boxing career having seen his friend and management company stablemate Sonny Bill Williams opt for a similar career path.
AAP reports that neither the ARU nor the Queensland Rugby Union has been informed of Cooper's intentions although the player's agent, Khoder Nasser, revealed a press conference would take place in Brisbane next week.
Cooper, who has battled back from career-threatening knee injury suffered during last year's Rugby World Cup, reportedly chose not to put pen to paper on an ARU offer earlier this year having already agreed new terms with his Super Rugby employers.
It is understood that the offer was subsequently withdrawn by the ARU following Cooper's controversial outburst in which he labelled the Wallabies' environment as "toxic" and threatened to make himself unavailable for selection.
QRU boss Jim Carmichael commented: "I still genuinely believe he's an important asset to the game moving forward but it's up to Quade and the ARU where they're happy to move on. It's frustrating that's for sure.
"(However) the public genuinely believes in the Reds as a team and as an organisation. Whatever happens with any player I think we're an organisation who is equipped to deal with it."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.