McCaw’s class shows Cooper can’t be tolerated
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All Black captain Richie McCaw looks on during the team training session in Brisbane, Friday, Aug. 26, 2011. The New Zealand All Blacks are in preparation for the Tri-Nations final against the Australian Wallabies on Saturday. (AAP Image/Patrick Hamilton)
At the weekend Richie McCaw celebrated his 100th Test match win. An outstanding record, but it is even more astounding to note he has only lost 12 test matches in his entire career.
We Australian supporters are inclined to regard McCaw with a mixture of responses, including the customary remarks about his ability to get away with murder on the pitch.
Regardless of our views about him it is clear, from every account and from all observers of the game, that the man demonstrates a very great level of humility and grace.
You struggle to remember any instance of cheap shot responses, even after incidents such as the infamous eye gouging incident in the RWC final last year.
McCaw exudes calmness. He is measured. He consistently praises and talks up his team mates. He does not even seem to become agitated by inept refereeing performances.
He has not, in my recollection, ever been the subject of any bad behaviour off the field. For all of these reasons his team mates, at all levels will follow him to hell and back.
While I may regularly scream at the TV screen and referee that he is offside, lying on the ball, lying all over opponents I cannot recall a single incident of outright foul play.
Contrast the antics of Quade Cooper. This is a man who states that he would refuse to wear his countries jersey. This is a man who engages in his own toxic outbursts in the week before a key test match. This is a man not above cheap shots.
In the (infamous) Fox Sports interview he was disingenuous in the extreme as to what the core problem is between he and Australian Rugby.
He should at least have been honest enough to state what the issues are between he and Robbie Deans rather than complaining about the absence of a five-star coaching resort.
His off field issues are well documented and so I will not repeat them. He may well be a troubled soul, requiring special attention but I submit he has zero personal awareness. He is an extremely well paid young man.
He is in a privileged position and, unlike for example David Pocock, he does not appear to feel any need in his rehab moments to put something back into the community. I suggest the guy has self selected.
Unless Australian rugby, which has any number of issues ahead of it, now wishes to encourage an environment of selfish, egocentric, petulant behaviour such as that demonstrated by Quade Cooper it should accept his ‘resignation’ and move on.
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