The Reds without Cooper makes no sense to me

Jack Quigley Columnist

By Jack Quigley, Jack Quigley is a Roar Expert

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    Quade Cooper and Nick Frisby have reportedly been told by new Reds coach Brad Thorn that neither are part of the side’s plan for 2018.

    While Frisby’s demotion is not shocking, he was outplayed at times by youngster James Tuttle last season, the fact that a capped Wallaby is deemed not to be of use in any capacity around the team is surprising. Cooper’s omission is, however pretty staggering.

    Cooper divides opinions, so I won’t turn this article (and the comments section) into a debate about whether he was underrated, overrated or anywhere in between. But whether you rated him or not, a bit like Shane Watson, there’s little to no argument that the guy had freak-levels of talent.

    Cooper just seemed to rub some people the wrong way and couldn’t do enough to turn that image around.

    Cooper is a regular on the touch football circuit in Brisbane, often showing up at weeknight competitions and offering to fill in for teams who need an extra player. But that good will doesn’t reach those outside of Brisbane who seem hell bent on chopping him down.

    People don’t like that he’s not a great defender, but he’s hardly alone in that category. They don’t like that his management often shop him around to get the best deal possible for him, so, basically what a good manager should do.

    They don’t like that he dabbled in boxing part-time, how dare he pursue something of interest to him.

    In fact, if it had been Cooper rather than Foley throwing passes to nobody leading to the opponents scooping them up and scoring on the recent European tour, there’d have been mobs with torches out looking for him. But because it’s Foley the collective reaction is just a shrug of the shoulders because there’s nobody better right now.

    Quade Cooper after the Wallabies loss to Scotland

    (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)

    I always loved watching Quade. To further the analogies with cricket, like Adam Gilchrist he’s the sort of player I never complained about having to pay to see, because he was an entertainer. And I was fully of the knowledge that those sorts of players don’t always deliver the winning result, it’s a gamble you take in the name of making your product actually enjoyable to watch as a spectacle.

    And at the end of the day, that’s what sport is about. If we weed out the guys who make the game entertaining, I’m not sure that’s actually in the game’s best interests.

    ‘Solid’ fly halves who will get you through a game without major incident are a dime a dozen. Game-breakers are in short supply.

    The ship may have sailed on Cooper’s international career, but at age 29 it’s ridiculous to think that a player of his ability, with 70 Test caps and 117 Super Rugby games experience, would not be of use to a Super Rugby team.

    But it appears to be the case. The Waratahs won’t shift Bernard Foley to make room, nor should they. The Rebels have already basically bought the Western Force squad plus Will Genia, and the Brumbies are adamant that they’ve locked up their playmaker positions for next season.

    But Cooper is still contracted with the Rugby AU and Queensland Rugby Union. It’s complete madness to think that he could be running around Brisbane Premier Rugby grounds next season.

    Though it would be in keeping with the Reds’ policy of completely throwing money down the drain, next season they’ll be coached by Brad Thorn while at the same time still paying Nick Stiles and have just reached an agreement to pay out John Connolly (remember when he was at the Reds? Exactly).

    Reds Super Rugby player Quade Cooper

    (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

    For the Reds, who knows what the plan is. Last year it was to stockpile old heads, add experience, leadership, build a culture.

    This year its the complete opposite. A clear out of all the old farts in favour of a hungry young crop. Cooper and Frisby look set to join Stephen Moore and Rob Simmons on the way out, and George Smith’s return is looking questionable.

    It’s worth a try, I guess. The Reds can’t be any more of a disaster than they already are so why not roll the dice? I still can’t shake the view that Cooper should be a part of it.

    Whatever your opinion of him on the park, the guy is box-office. He ensures you’ll get newspaper inches, TV air time and bums on seats. And unless you’re winning each week, which the Reds aren’t, that sort of player is usually worth his weight.

    The problem now is that the Reds have got themselves into a position where they’re carrying all of the weight without enjoying any of the benefits.

    Jack Quigley
    Jack Quigley

    A long time sports writer and podcaster, Jack has spent the majority of his media career covering football and rugby. He recently joined The Roar on the back of penning a viral Facebook rant aimed at the Wallabies which attracted 60,000 likes and more than 6,000 shares. You can follow him on Twitter @Jack_Quigley.

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    The Crowd Says (369)

    • December 8th 2017 @ 7:21am
      Beans said | December 8th 2017 @ 7:21am | ! Report

      All well and good Jack but you hit the nail on the head in your fourth paragraph. Brad Thorn comes across as a no nonsense task master who, as with Qld Country, will look to drive the culture via bloody hard work and dedication to the things within each player’s control. Fitness, strength, core skills. Whether right or wrong, and regardless of experience and talent, why on earth would he carry a player who regularly exhibits none of the core qualities he expects from his playing group and, at this late stage of his career, is unlikely to change. It’s the right call by Thorn. Perhaps it may be the wrong call for the Reds. Who knows? What we do know is the coach needs to be able to make such calls and it is good to see that the Reds are backing him.

      • December 8th 2017 @ 7:48am
        Gray-Hand said | December 8th 2017 @ 7:48am | ! Report

        There is nothing wrong with Cooper’s fitness or strength. And his core skills as a fly half of passing and kicking are arguably the best in the country. He may not be a great or even good defender, but it is an area that he has improved in over the years. And Cooper has never been accused of being a lazy trainer.

        I don’t know what your view of Cooper is based on.

        • December 8th 2017 @ 9:01am
          Beans said | December 8th 2017 @ 9:01am | ! Report

          You’ve missed the point. Thorn is after cultural change within the squad. Presumably Cooper doesn’t fit the mould of his preferred player archetype and has prior form as being a disruptor. He is also unlikely to change. The solution for Thorn is to remove him so he can set the standard and not have to deal with conflicting elements in his playing group. Regardless of how good a player Cooper is, any loyalties he’s perceived to be owed, how many bums he puts on seats, the column inches his exploits fill in the tabloids, his experience or anyone else’s thoughts on the matter, it is the right call for Brad Thorn to make so he can shape the squad to his liking.

          • December 8th 2017 @ 9:40am
            Train Without A Station said | December 8th 2017 @ 9:40am | ! Report

            If Thorn needs a certain type of player to be able to coach, he won’t succeed as a coach.

            Every coach has limitations on the players availavle, and needs to be able to work with players that may not fit their pre-conceived mound prior to coming in, in order to get the best results.

            • December 8th 2017 @ 10:18am
              Beans said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:18am | ! Report

              What a ridiculous comment!

              For as long as coaches have existed they have and always will select the players they know will complement their direction for the team. To do anything otherwise would be an exercise in futility.

              • Roar Guru

                December 8th 2017 @ 10:32am
                PeterK said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:32am | ! Report

                no the best coaches make the most of the talent available, they come up with game plans and tactics best suited to the players they have.

                Having a gameplan that doesn’t utilise the talents of his best players is an exercise in waste and failure.

                A lot of the players were already signed when Thorn was appointed he did not have a clean slate.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 10:44am
                Train Without A Station said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:44am | ! Report

                Exactly.

                For example there may not be a Super Rugby capable 10 that fits Thorn’s mound.

                If he can’t successfully work a game plan that maximised capable, but not in that mould; he’ll do worse than using subpar players that fit his mould.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 11:43am
                ozinsa said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:43am | ! Report

                Dead right Peter. This is true in any sphere of management. A good one gets the most out of his team.

                If it’s Quade’s defence that is a problem, doesn’t Thorn back himself to improve him? If not, why?

                He’s arguably the best fly half in the country and certainly in the discussion. The Reds have none better. Strange call

              • December 8th 2017 @ 8:45pm
                John said | December 8th 2017 @ 8:45pm | ! Report

                Did you guys satch Cooper pl ay last year
                If he is the best 1st 5 in Aussie, no wonder Wallabies are struggling.
                He had 1 outstanding year for the Reds. Then went down hill after that. Far too inconsistant.
                He has way too many brain snaps, Beale is similiar
                Thorn must believe in his opinion that he has better options. I would totally agree with him

              • Roar Guru

                December 8th 2017 @ 10:51am
                Wal said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:51am | ! Report

                But the best coaches also cut players they believe aren’t a fit for the team, be that either skill, fitness, structure, culturally.
                The examples are endless, of highly talented individuals who are cut from teams.

                None of us truly know what reasons Cooper is on the outer but 3 different coaches have deemed him not worthy of their squads now.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 11:10am
                Train Without A Station said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:10am | ! Report

                What successful provincial coach has cut a 70 Test player under the age of 30 with no proven replacement in their position?

              • December 8th 2017 @ 12:47pm
                Gray-Hand said | December 8th 2017 @ 12:47pm | ! Report

                The situation with Thorn is entirely different than with Cheika or Deans. Deans and Cheika were coaching at international level with selection choices of players of a similar level of skill and experience as Cooper.

                Cooper might have been unlucky with Deans and Cheika, to miss out on selection at various times, but there were at least plausible, even reasonable reasons for selecting other players ahead of Cooper for the wallabies.

                That isn’t the case with the Reds under Thorn. It’s inexplicable. The people here defending the decision are having to reach for arguments such as Cooper being a bad trainer, or a disruptive influence, or a clash of personalities. There is no evidence of any of that.

                It just seems like a dumb decision by an inexperienced coach that is going to backfire in multiple ways.

              • Roar Pro

                December 8th 2017 @ 12:52pm
                Will W QOS said | December 8th 2017 @ 12:52pm | ! Report

                +1

              • December 8th 2017 @ 4:53pm
                Dan in Devon said | December 8th 2017 @ 4:53pm | ! Report

                You cite Cheika – but surely someone must be questioning his judgment ? Easily the worst Wallaby team I have seen in Europe. No one in the English media rates them – Foley wouldn’t make the England squad yet alone the team. Yet you have no room for Cooper. If two record losses don’t tell you something then there is little hope for Australian Rugby.

              • Roar Pro

                December 8th 2017 @ 10:55am
                GusTee said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:55am | ! Report

                I can’t entirely agree with you, Beans. TWAS makes a good point. The player pool of any Club is limited and a coach must bring out the best of the material that he has. Only a National coach has an open discretion and then he is limited to the talent pool in the country. I feel for Quade – always liked him as a player and consider the Kiwis stifled his career by targeting him with their booing.

              • Roar Guru

                December 8th 2017 @ 10:55am
                PeterK said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:55am | ! Report

                Wal – I agree.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 5:55pm
                Alan said | December 8th 2017 @ 5:55pm | ! Report

                Seriously, if you can’t manage (difficult) people you have no business coaching/managing.

              • December 10th 2017 @ 10:48am
                Jock Cornet said | December 10th 2017 @ 10:48am | ! Report

                Seriously if you can’t and won’t tackle you should not be in the team.

              • December 10th 2017 @ 9:49pm
                Fionn said | December 10th 2017 @ 9:49pm | ! Report

                So Jock, does that mean that Beale and Foley shouldn’t be in the Waratahs?

            • December 8th 2017 @ 1:07pm
              anopinion said | December 8th 2017 @ 1:07pm | ! Report

              Wayne Bennett at the Broncos cut Wally Lewis from his squad. Turned out to be a good decision.

              • Roar Guru

                December 8th 2017 @ 1:15pm
                PeterK said | December 8th 2017 @ 1:15pm | ! Report

                sure but only after coaching Lewis for 3 years, totally different situation

              • Roar Rookie

                December 8th 2017 @ 1:44pm
                Don said | December 8th 2017 @ 1:44pm | ! Report

                Plus he had Kevin Walters already there as the immediate replacement and Peter Jackson as the back up option.
                Hardly similar to Thorn relying on Hamish Stewart and Duncan Paia’aua to steer the Reds…

                Then again, who’s to say Thorn hasn’t lined up a new 10 as the marquee import? If he has, I wish he’d announce it and ease this tension.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 3:10pm
                Train Without A Station said | December 8th 2017 @ 3:10pm | ! Report

                Yep. Kevin Walters was already a premiership player and State of Origin Rep.

                And he cut Lewis because he wouldn’t move to lock to accomodate him.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 7:55pm
                Gray-Hand said | December 8th 2017 @ 7:55pm | ! Report

                Also, it wasn’t a matter of ‘cutting’ a contracted player with Lewis. They simply refused to offer him a new contract.

            • Roar Rookie

              December 8th 2017 @ 8:36pm
              ukkiwi said | December 8th 2017 @ 8:36pm | ! Report

              “If Thorn needs a certain type of player to be able to coach, he won’t succeed as a coach”. I agree with that but a coach can and should demand a certain type of attitude which I think was Beans point

            • December 9th 2017 @ 2:26pm
              CJ said | December 9th 2017 @ 2:26pm | ! Report

              TWAS, I think it is a case of Watch This Space and we’ll know this time next year if it was the right move or not. Quade just does not seem to have made the progress as a player that he should have. Like a Nathan Lyon has in cricket.After Link left there was no one to mentor his mercurial nature. Like a Gus Gould did with Brad Fittler. As to coach/player personality conflicts, I disagree that it is a straightforward proposition to remedy significant differences in attitude, personalities and temperaments. And these types of personality conflicts tend to have a ripple effect throughout the organization. If there was a Brumbies McQueen like set up, QC might do really well under that type of regime – like forgotten his name – (but that gifted but somewhat brittle Randwick 5/8 did). But maybe that ship has sailed as he is no young gun any more.

              • December 10th 2017 @ 4:19pm
                Stephen Creagh said | December 10th 2017 @ 4:19pm | ! Report

                David Knox?

          • December 11th 2017 @ 12:05pm
            Gepetto said | December 11th 2017 @ 12:05pm | ! Report

            Brad’s decision will ultimately be explained by Dr. Bennet Omalu.

      • December 8th 2017 @ 8:22am
        Dave_S said | December 8th 2017 @ 8:22am | ! Report

        Cooper would have to be one of the fittest rugby players in Aus. Nonsense to suggest he was cut for that reason.

    • December 8th 2017 @ 7:24am
      Adsa said | December 8th 2017 @ 7:24am | ! Report

      “The Reds can’t be anymore of a disaster than last year so they may as well roll the dice” Sadly Jack this is all too true, FFS why does Ballymore have to be run by numbies, why can’t they look at the Brocos just up the road at Red Hill and see how a professional and successful team conducts itself. Maybe Thorn is the start of a new era, but it has started buy leaving a bad taste in this Reds supporters mouth.

      • December 8th 2017 @ 7:58am
        Bill said | December 8th 2017 @ 7:58am | ! Report

        Agree. Excited by his appointment but now this inexplicable move has me not rushing to buy my little guy a reds jersey for Xmas.

        • December 8th 2017 @ 11:37am
          Fin said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:37am | ! Report

          Get him a Tahs jersey, he’ll love it.

          • December 8th 2017 @ 12:20pm
            Jack said | December 8th 2017 @ 12:20pm | ! Report

            He’ll get a free Wallabies Jersey if you buy him Tahs Jersey

            • December 8th 2017 @ 4:05pm
              Stuart Bywater said | December 8th 2017 @ 4:05pm | ! Report

              Haha Jack, we don’t let just any Wallaby wear a ‘tahs jumper.

              • Roar Rookie

                December 8th 2017 @ 8:43pm
                ukkiwi said | December 8th 2017 @ 8:43pm | ! Report

                Haha nice one.

        • December 8th 2017 @ 11:50am
          MA said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:50am | ! Report

          Agree Bill. Was all set to buy season pass. Not now.

      • December 8th 2017 @ 8:24am
        Dave_S said | December 8th 2017 @ 8:24am | ! Report

        Agree Adsa, I’ve said it before – if only the Reds were run by the Broncos consortium …

        • December 8th 2017 @ 10:06am
          mania said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:06am | ! Report

          if only all of the ARU was run by the NRL

          • December 8th 2017 @ 11:48am
            Jacko said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:48am | ! Report

            Yeah then all players would be available for every country in the world come WC time

            • December 8th 2017 @ 12:54pm
              mania said | December 8th 2017 @ 12:54pm | ! Report

              it would at least be in profit, have a decent grassroots that extended to NZ and WBs would probably be the best in the world.
              worrying about a WC is the least of your worries

              • December 8th 2017 @ 2:10pm
                Jacko said | December 8th 2017 @ 2:10pm | ! Report

                Yes not enough decent players available from your own backyard in league that they recruit all the rugby juniors from NZ and Aus union

              • December 11th 2017 @ 7:06pm
                mtiger said | December 11th 2017 @ 7:06pm | ! Report

                + 1

          • December 8th 2017 @ 11:50am
            Jacko said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:50am | ! Report

            Yeah then all players would be available for every country they feel like playing for eh

      • December 8th 2017 @ 10:11am
        Bang said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:11am | ! Report

        complete crap … Thorn comes from the ‘Brocos’ …

        Just remember that Phil Mooney and Link built a team around Cooper, that worked once and not since. Thorn will build a winning team and a dominant culture. Maybe even start with a couple of the tried and tested, no dickheads, you’re not bigger than the team and build real leaders in the next phase.

        At some point you need to recognise that Quade is part of the problem not the solution.

        • December 8th 2017 @ 10:44am
          Train Without A Station said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:44am | ! Report

          And it also didn’t work without Quade in 2016…

          • December 8th 2017 @ 2:11pm
            Jacko said | December 8th 2017 @ 2:11pm | ! Report

            But he did for the 2017 complete season

        • December 8th 2017 @ 11:57am
          Dave_S said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:57am | ! Report

          Thorn played at the Broncos, he didn’t coach or run it.

          He apparently did not learn the lesson that you don’t dump a senior and key position player without a decent backup player.

          Indeed, the Broncos recently brought IN a player just like QC – Benji Marshall – when they needed someone to develop young playmakers and be a backup. And Broncos already had better halves than Hamish Stewart.

          Paid HUGE dividends for the Broncos, Marshall steadied the ship mid season for the Broncos and played so well it resurrected his NRL career.

          • December 10th 2017 @ 6:31pm
            Karl Knuth said | December 10th 2017 @ 6:31pm | ! Report

            You’re spot on Dave S, signing Benji to the Broncs was yet another master stroke from Bennet.

            • December 11th 2017 @ 7:07pm
              mtiger said | December 11th 2017 @ 7:07pm | ! Report

              Then Bennet should coach the Reds

    • December 8th 2017 @ 7:29am
      Sherry said | December 8th 2017 @ 7:29am | ! Report

      I’m with you, Jack. You can’t coach brilliance but you can teach somebody how to ration it out, and nobody did that with Quade. If they had, his international career would be anything but over.

      • December 8th 2017 @ 12:14pm
        mania said | December 8th 2017 @ 12:14pm | ! Report

        when does quade take responsibility for his own development?
        i coach 10 yr olds and first thing i teach them is how to tackle. if 10 year olds can learn why hasnt quade?
        i dont have time to coach my kids everything either. im in charge of the whole team not the individuals.
        how come quade hasnt sourced someone to coach him in his individual shortcomings? why should someone have to teach quade to “ration out” his brilliance?

        • Roar Guru

          December 8th 2017 @ 1:16pm
          PeterK said | December 8th 2017 @ 1:16pm | ! Report

          why does any player have a weakness in anything then (hint most do)

          • Roar Rookie

            December 8th 2017 @ 1:52pm
            piru said | December 8th 2017 @ 1:52pm | ! Report

            This is an excellent question Peter – why does any professional player have any kind of weakness in the basic skills of the game?

            Why are there professional 9s who can’t pass?
            Professional 15s who can’t kick?
            Professional anythings who can’t tackle?

            what is the deal?

            • December 8th 2017 @ 2:32pm
              Internal Fixation said | December 8th 2017 @ 2:32pm | ! Report

              Because “can’t” Is a completely lazy and rubbish description thrown around for decades by “know it all’s” at the local and now by keyboard warriors.

              • Roar Rookie

                December 8th 2017 @ 2:47pm
                piru said | December 8th 2017 @ 2:47pm | ! Report

                Fine, replace it with “unable to”.

                Now answer the question

              • December 8th 2017 @ 8:47pm
                Internal Fixation said | December 8th 2017 @ 8:47pm | ! Report

                All these players are better than you and me. I bet Quade could tackle well at Shute level.

                Perhaps the reason they “can’t” perform at the level you expect is because it is not the core competency required to make them great.

                It should be noted Quade had moments of success despite not being able to tackle equivalent to his peers in test and super rugby.

                This was because of his brilliance in other areas. He is an example of the diversity of skills in rugby and not one player is perfect.

                That said “can’t bowl, can’t catch” was a great sledge.

            • December 10th 2017 @ 6:03am
              Pinetree said | December 10th 2017 @ 6:03am | ! Report

              Piru

              “Why are there professional 9s who can’t pass?”

              That is just incompetent selection, being that this is a core role of a halfback.

              “Professional 15s who can’t kick?”

              This usually comes down to selecting players out of position, as kicking SHOULD be regarded as a must for a fullback. Players like Folau should be playing on the wing, where his lack of kicking is not crucial, and his amazing attacking abilities are given priority over cover defence and kicking.

              “Professional anythings who can’t tackle?”

              Remember that we are dealing with professional players in attack as well, which are not exactly the easiest to take down! Some players do have poor technique though, and it does baffle the mind a bit if players have not learnt this yet, as no matter what position you play, you have to tackle, and leaning how to do this properly is important, as we are talking about people’s safety as well.

              • Roar Guru

                December 11th 2017 @ 6:56pm
                Timbo (L) said | December 11th 2017 @ 6:56pm | ! Report

                Pine,

                I think Piru has just led you to his conclusion.

                Add Forwards that Can’t Ruck and Front Rowers that Can’t hold up a scrum and you bust open Cheika’s Selection policy and Game plan for the steaming pile of Rocks that it is.

                The problem with Putting Folau at 14 or 13 is that there is some pretty fierce competition for those spots (Niavalu, TK, Smu) and Cheikaball requires that at least one, preferably both 11 and 14 are a proficient tacklers.

        • December 9th 2017 @ 10:31am
          Terry Tavita said | December 9th 2017 @ 10:31am | ! Report

          you can’t teach heart..best tacklers have the biggest hearts..cooper is a bit of a coward..

    • December 8th 2017 @ 7:34am
      Karl Knuth said | December 8th 2017 @ 7:34am | ! Report

      You’re spot on Jack, the Reds seem to thrive on paying people that they then choose to put to no good use.

      Personally I have not talked to a single person who can understand this decision. Quade really is a Queensland favourite, the people love him. To cut Quade like this would be equal to Paul Greene cutting Thurston when he took over, which would be completely ridiculous! Like Thurston, Quade has freakish talent – talent that his fans love to watch! Talent that his fans pay to watch and actually will take an interest to.

      FYI QRU, fans = money $$.

      There is also they fact that Quade is loved by his teammates in Qld. How are they going to respond to his being dropped like this for no apparent reason with no chance to even prove himself to the new coach?
      Thorn has also just placed all of Qld’s hopes on Stewart’s very young shoulders. Would it not have been better to manage both Stewart’s and Coopers workload evenly as one starts a career and the other’s started to wind down? Would it not have been a good idea for Quade to mentor Hamish and Duncan this year and provide a helping hand?

      Lastly I find it hard to swallow that a man who has the respect of his peers and his opposition, a man who Brian Smith said a month ago was the best FH since Ella and who Alan Jones was full of praise for in organising the BaaBaas, has no place in his home team. A team that he has helped to build.

      It’s ridiculous and a bad move for Qld.

      • December 8th 2017 @ 7:46am
        Andy said | December 8th 2017 @ 7:46am | ! Report

        Please don’t suggest that this decision was similar to if Paul green sacked Jonathan Thurston, on field talent is where comparisons between the two start and end.

        • December 8th 2017 @ 7:50am
          Karl Knuth said | December 8th 2017 @ 7:50am | ! Report

          I’m not comparing their talents Andy. They play different codes for a start, just using it as an anology for a decision that never should have happened.

          • December 8th 2017 @ 9:38am
            Andy said | December 8th 2017 @ 9:38am | ! Report

            Karl read my response, I’m not saying you can’t compare these two talent wise but as leaders and people on and off the field and what they bring to their team club and sport are incomparible. I done see qc been nominated for Australian of the year any time soon!

            • Roar Guru

              December 8th 2017 @ 1:05pm
              Hoy said | December 8th 2017 @ 1:05pm | ! Report

              Was he nominated as Aus of the year at the time when Green came in? No.

          • December 8th 2017 @ 11:52am
            Jacko said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:52am | ! Report

            But isnt Thurston still playing good rugby? he would not be dropped if he was

            • December 8th 2017 @ 4:29pm
              Ruckin Oaf said | December 8th 2017 @ 4:29pm | ! Report

              Indeed.

      • December 8th 2017 @ 8:21am
        Bring Back...? said | December 8th 2017 @ 8:21am | ! Report

        Karl, no issue with the thread of your opinion but to place any weight on Brian Smith’s comment is OTT. For starters, Lynagh and Larkham leave QC for dead. Let’s not get carried away with QC’s abilities.

        • December 8th 2017 @ 8:28am
          Dave_S said | December 8th 2017 @ 8:28am | ! Report

          Lynagh was a great all-rounder but not as good as Quades passing or running games. QC sits at least alongside Lynagh and arguably somewhere between Bernie and Lynagh.

          • December 8th 2017 @ 8:37am
            Gray-Hand said | December 8th 2017 @ 8:37am | ! Report

            In attack maybe. But he is behind those two if defensive skills and goal kicking (in the case of Lynagh) are taken into account.

            But he is well ahead of the rookies the Reds otherwise have at their disposal.

            • December 8th 2017 @ 8:44am
              Gray-Hand said | December 8th 2017 @ 8:44am | ! Report

              I woyldn’t Say that Cooper’s running game has been anything particularly special since his knee injury.

          • December 8th 2017 @ 8:45am
            Bring Back...? said | December 8th 2017 @ 8:45am | ! Report

            Just have to agree to disagree on this. Lynagh was totally under-rated. Remember he was at 12 on that GS tour yet Ella gets all the accolades. He was a mainstay of the team over a long time….remember the cool head that prevailed in the Ireland match during 91 RWC….the cool head helping to run the show in the 91 semi final. Lynagh has the runs on the board.

            • December 8th 2017 @ 10:09am
              Boomeranga said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:09am | ! Report

              It’s a bit of a Steve Waugh v Mark Waugh argument I think. Mid-career I would have said Mark was a better bat, but history without pictures will reflect Steve’s name a lot brighter.

              Jack, I agree. I just can’t understand why they would bounce QC out like that have. The downside or risk in doing so just seems so much greater.

        • December 8th 2017 @ 8:42am
          Karl Knuth said | December 8th 2017 @ 8:42am | ! Report

          Bring back, I also don’t agree that he was as good as Larkham, but in my mind they are two very different players as well. I’m a bit young to know what Lynagh was like.

          I wasn’t trying to draw comparison though, more just trying to show that people who work with him obviously hold him in high esteem.

          • December 8th 2017 @ 8:47am
            Bring Back...? said | December 8th 2017 @ 8:47am | ! Report

            Not Brad Thorn though, nor Michael Cheika.

            • December 8th 2017 @ 8:55am
              Fionn said | December 8th 2017 @ 8:55am | ! Report

              Brad Thorn hasn’t worked with him yet.

              Cheika hasn’t shown himself as a particularly astute selector or judge of players.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 9:23am
                Bring Back...? said | December 8th 2017 @ 9:23am | ! Report

                Thorn has been around the same circles for long enough to form his own views. This is off track anyway – I’m not saying it’s the right call. All I’m saying is that QC isn’t the player he’s made out to be by many on these pages. For Brian Smith to suggest he’s best since Ella is just delusional.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 9:32am
                Fionn said | December 8th 2017 @ 9:32am | ! Report

                Yep.

                It isn’t even cut and dry as to who was the best between Larkham, Lynagh, Ella and even McLean.

                I think it is pretty unfathomable for someone to argue that Quade was better than Larkham, the most recent of the greats, even.

              • Roar Guru

                December 8th 2017 @ 3:22pm
                Ralph said | December 8th 2017 @ 3:22pm | ! Report

                I dunno ‘Bring Back…?’, he is a Kiwi so that probably puts him automatically at the top of the list .. except for Ella of course.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 3:29pm
                Bring Back...? said | December 8th 2017 @ 3:29pm | ! Report

                Except a Kiwi (All Black great) has axed him.

            • December 8th 2017 @ 8:57am
              Karl Knuth said | December 8th 2017 @ 8:57am | ! Report

              Well not Cheika, although that’s hardly saying anything. Look at all the players he seems to have fallen out with. Fardy, Horwill, Higginbotham, Houston and now Cooper.

              Thorn hasn’t even coached Quade yet so unless it is something to do with 2011 then it must be a personality clash.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 9:26am
                Bring Back...? said | December 8th 2017 @ 9:26am | ! Report

                Others pay more attention to the trivia but Horwill was dropped by Link, Higginbotham was picked by Cheika and got injured for the season – if he has a good season for the Reds, he’ll be in the mix. Houston – couldn’t make the Reds run on side. Agree Fardy is a loss.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 10:13am
                Boomeranga said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:13am | ! Report

                Leroy seems harsh to lay on Cheika.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 11:55am
                Jacko said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:55am | ! Report

                Thorn was Reds assistant coach lthis season so saw Cooper first hand all season long

              • December 9th 2017 @ 2:05pm
                craigo said | December 9th 2017 @ 2:05pm | ! Report

                I remember Thorn butchered a certain try for the Saders in the last 20 minutes of that 2011 SR final when he forgot how to pass to the right which may have set up a win. Perhaps the Reds boys gave him some grief over that one at the time. Revenge is a dish best served cold they say.

          • Roar Guru

            December 8th 2017 @ 3:24pm
            Ralph said | December 8th 2017 @ 3:24pm | ! Report

            Mr Lynagh was absolutely a top shelf player.

        • December 8th 2017 @ 11:39am
          JP said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:39am | ! Report

          Bring Back…?

          Where does Bernard Foley lie ?? ( 55 consecutive tests )

          Is he the best Wallaby 10 you’ve seen ? Is he that good ??

          • December 8th 2017 @ 11:58am
            Bring Back...? said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:58am | ! Report

            Didn’t mention Foley JP. But the answer to your question is “no” re whether he’s the best I’ve seen.

            • December 8th 2017 @ 2:53pm
              JP said | December 8th 2017 @ 2:53pm | ! Report

              Is he the worst 10 you’ve seen who has played that many consecutive tests for the Wallabies with so many blunders ignored ??

              • December 8th 2017 @ 3:28pm
                Bring Back...? said | December 8th 2017 @ 3:28pm | ! Report

                List all the ones who have played 55 consecutive tests and I’ll give you my answer. He could be the best and the worst.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 3:35pm
                JP said | December 8th 2017 @ 3:35pm | ! Report

                Bring Back… IC. mmmm. The question must have been too complex for you to answer.I suggest you go back to playing Checkers, whilst the rest of us play Chess.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 3:50pm
                Bring Back...? said | December 8th 2017 @ 3:50pm | ! Report

                You know the saying – ask a stupid question…. or are too interested in being arrogant and patronising. Perhaps you could just keep to the issues rather than provoke criticism of another player who has zero to do with Brad Thorn’s decision to axe QC.

            • December 11th 2017 @ 11:33am
              JP said | December 11th 2017 @ 11:33am | ! Report

              I feel like Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto after the attack on Pearl Harbor, in saying
              “I fear all I have done is to awaken a sleeping giant (in a camp tank top) and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

          • December 10th 2017 @ 6:46am
            Pinetree said | December 10th 2017 @ 6:46am | ! Report

            JP – Foley has played 55 tests for Australia, not 55 consecutive tests. Foley is not even close to being the best 10, but he is not the worst either.

            A bit rough to call Bring Back…? on your question being too complex for him, when you did not even ask a question that was based in truth.

            BTW, the player with the most consecutive tests for Australia is Joe Roff with 62 tests (and second in the world behind Sean Fitzpatrick on 63). Phil Kearns is 2nd for Australia with 46 consecutive tests, and David Campese with 42 consecutive tests for Australia.

            • December 11th 2017 @ 11:36am
              JP said | December 11th 2017 @ 11:36am | ! Report

              ” JP – Foley has played 55 tests for Australia ” .

              WOW !! No wonder we are so horrendous.

      • December 8th 2017 @ 9:57am
        Rugbyfan in WA said | December 8th 2017 @ 9:57am | ! Report

        I reapect your views but cannot agree with the comparison of JT and QC. When the game is on the line JT will step up and win the game QC will not. QC never takes the ball into contact and when he is isolated will try a 50/50 play and turn the ball over. QC’s biggest strength was his attack and it has become too predictable. JT is a champion who would put his body on the line for his team and has the mental strength to make the right play to win the game. QC goes missing when the game is not going hos way.

        • Roar Guru

          December 8th 2017 @ 10:35am
          PeterK said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:35am | ! Report

          JT when isolated will take the easy option and submit to a tackle, no pressure to have to make a play.

          Rugby is very different to league being tackled when isolated will mostly mean a turnover or penalty so it is better to kick or pass the ball.

          • Roar Guru

            December 8th 2017 @ 1:07pm
            Hoy said | December 8th 2017 @ 1:07pm | ! Report

            Yeah, you can’t even compare the two games in that regard.

          • December 8th 2017 @ 2:59pm
            soapit said | December 8th 2017 @ 2:59pm | ! Report

            think theyre comparing in more general terms peter. we know half play is different across the two games.

    • December 8th 2017 @ 7:41am
      Selector said | December 8th 2017 @ 7:41am | ! Report

      I still haven’t come to terms with it myself. I can’t imagine how much it will cost them in memberships too. Also this puts a lot more pressure on Hamish and Duncan to perform.

      Given the silly way they have gone about this, they probably don’t have the funds for it, but they should be looking at getting Louwrens at all costs as the replacement. Him and Rona are the last decent Force backs unsigned.
      Whilst Tuttle is a good prospect and Moses is a decent player, Louwrens was the form HB last year until his injury.

    • December 8th 2017 @ 8:02am
      Bill said | December 8th 2017 @ 8:02am | ! Report

      Watching a fair bit of NFL this season. And these sorts of moves happen a bit. Ie tell the old bull it’s over. But rarely do you do it with garunteed money committed. If we could sell Quade for some youngsters I get it (despite being a huge Quade fan it could be time for younger blood (again)). But we don’t. Just poor list management.

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