Why aren’t we talking about Quade Cooper?

Steiner Roar Pro

By Steiner, Steiner is a Roar Pro

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161 Have your say

    Can there be anything more curious than paying $650,000 per annum to a fit, 30-year-old, Super Rugby and Rugby Championship winning flyhalf – with 70 Test caps and 129 Super Rugby matches under his belt – to play club rugby in Brisbane?

    There has been a fundamental lack of common sense in how Australian and Queensland rugby have (mis)managed Quade this season.

    From all reports, Cooper has been a great representative and role model in the local community for both Queensland and Australian rugby, and there have been no incidents to mar his image, as there were earlier in his career.

    He took his lumps, has avoided controversy, and maintained a high standard of professionalism inside and outside the game. He has matured late, but better late than never.

    Unfortunately for Quade, there is an attitude by many fans and folks running the game that he has somehow brought this on himself due to a perceived selfishness and lack of commitment.

    Sure, Cooper has defensive deficiencies, but he’s not alone in that department in the Wallabies backline. When Michael Cheika dropped him from the squad, he said Cooper needed to start enjoying his rugby again, which is an obtuse comment that doesn’t really throw much light on what the national coach thinks the real issues are in Quade’s game.

    Maybe this is Cheika’s way of publicly protecting Quade, but hopefully he received more specific information than that. It’s hard to know what work-ons are necessary, besides enjoyment, when a person is trying to rebuild and improve their professional athletic career in a team sport.

    The second body blow to Cooper came from Brad Thorn when he took over the Reds.

    It is Thorn’s prerogative to pick the squad he wants and put his stamp on the team, however, once again, we didn’t receive a clear explanation from a head coach as to why Cooper is now incompatible with the team he has been a major part of for most of his career.

    Thorn said Cooper is definitely not part of his future plans and is no longer required in the Reds squad, implying Quade is somehow detrimental to Thorn’s new team culture and focus on youth.

    But the coach’s change in direction doesn’t explain why George Smith and Scott Higginbotham have been retained if renewal is the goal – both are senior players, with a history of injury, and recent indiscretions that have required a ‘please explain’ from Rugby Australia.

    Scott Higginbotham

    Scott Higginbotham (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

    The crux of the dilemma is that Cooper currently finds himself being paid by RA and the Queensland Rugby Union not to play. This is seriously weird stuff considering RA’s financial position and when our No.10 stocks are at an all-time low.

    What is even more ridiculous, if true, are reports that the Rebels and Brumbies made offers to Quade but these were rejected by the player and his manager.

    We are not privy to the details but surely RA could have been more proactive in gaining a workable financial resolution with the Reds and either the Brumbies or Rebels to get Cooper playing?

    It is indicative of the discordant and secretive state of Australian rugby that the QRU also appears willing and able to lock him out of any other possible option to the detriment of rugby in this country, and hope he just gives up and heads overseas to save the Reds 100 per cent of their remaining contract amount, while RA appears helpless or reluctant to remedy the situation.

    Maybe this is deliberate by RA, maybe Quade is yesterday’s hero and he is unwanted, but if that is the case then come clean and work with him on his transition out of Australian rugby. As a former Test player with 70-odd caps, it is the least they could do.

    Maybe Quade Cooper needs to give Andrew Forrest a ring – I’m sure he would be a drawcard for any new competition. But it doesn’t really solve the fundamental problems in this case, and the deeper issues within Australian rugby’s contracting system that have led to this ridiculous situation.

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    The Crowd Says (161)

    • Roar Rookie

      May 9th 2018 @ 10:45am
      piru said | May 9th 2018 @ 10:45am | ! Report

      “Why aren’t we talking about QC?”

      Cos Israel said some stuff on twitter

      • Roar Guru

        May 9th 2018 @ 10:58am
        jeznez said | May 9th 2018 @ 10:58am | ! Report

        Let’s make this a safe place away from Izzy.

        I am going to try and be good today. My goal is to ignore the Izzy comments and try to avoid baiting Arty T.

        • Roar Guru

          May 9th 2018 @ 11:36am
          Diggercane said | May 9th 2018 @ 11:36am | ! Report


          I was too slow.

          • Roar Rookie

            May 9th 2018 @ 11:41am
            piru said | May 9th 2018 @ 11:41am | ! Report

            Yeah I’m trying but every time I see an unproven assertion or a poor argument to personal incredulity my fingers itch

            • Roar Guru

              May 9th 2018 @ 12:03pm
              jeznez said | May 9th 2018 @ 12:03pm | ! Report

              I made one comment but intentionally didn’t mention Izzy and instead focussed on Wilkerson.

              Will try and do better

            • Roar Guru

              May 9th 2018 @ 12:57pm
              Diggercane said | May 9th 2018 @ 12:57pm | ! Report

              Whoops, I meant I was too slow in making the Izzy comment 🙂

              A cheap laugh and all that.

              Anyhow, carry on.

              • Roar Guru

                May 9th 2018 @ 1:34pm
                jeznez said | May 9th 2018 @ 1:34pm | ! Report

                I’m torn between reigning in my sense of humour as that is bound to offend someone and similarly itchy typing fingers to Piru when I see comments I find hard to let slide.

                I saw one good comment that said let’s not give his views oxygen by talking about them. I think that is possibly the path forward.

              • Roar Guru

                May 9th 2018 @ 1:43pm
                Diggercane said | May 9th 2018 @ 1:43pm | ! Report

                Of course you are right Jez, but some days it is just too hard!!

              • Roar Guru

                May 9th 2018 @ 2:28pm
                jeznez said | May 9th 2018 @ 2:28pm | ! Report

                Waaaay toooooo hard – here we are talking about not talking about it.

                The fact that it does actually steal comments away from a QC column is telling!

      • May 9th 2018 @ 8:35pm
        Leftist leftie said | May 9th 2018 @ 8:35pm | ! Report

        Coz, Quade is suspect under pressure. He had a pretty good suck of the tit, someone else’s turn.

    • Roar Guru

      May 9th 2018 @ 10:56am
      jeznez said | May 9th 2018 @ 10:56am | ! Report

      I’m more curious about why we aren’t talking about Karmichael Hunt.

      Hunt has either done something that enables the Reds to sack him or should be available for selection.

      I’d love to be corrected if my understanding is wrong but I read that Hunt stood himself down while the police investigation was carried out and just hasn’t come back since.

      The only quote I can find from Thorn regarding him is, “Yeah well, he hasn’t been in and he’s not playing club rugby at the moment so that doesn’t look to be happening,”

      The article didn’t have the exact context of the question but the comment looks like Hunt just hasn’t come to training, rather than he’s been instructed not to.

      At the very least RA and the Reds should be asking him to make himself available to his club, shouldn’t they?

      • May 9th 2018 @ 11:04am
        Fionn said | May 9th 2018 @ 11:04am | ! Report

        As I understood it a lot of fans and sponsors wrote to QRU saying that they were done if he played for the Reds again.

        • Roar Guru

          May 9th 2018 @ 11:32am
          jeznez said | May 9th 2018 @ 11:32am | ! Report

          And if the QRU have officially asked him to stand down I get it but if that is the case have they made an announcement?

          I can’t see one. RA said he is available, his club said they were waiting on the QRU – I can’t see anything from the QRU.

          • May 9th 2018 @ 6:01pm
            Steiner said | May 9th 2018 @ 6:01pm | ! Report

            Good point about Hunt too Jez. Another mystery. This article was originally titled the Curipus Case of Quade Cooper before the Eds changed it but it also applies to KH.

      • May 9th 2018 @ 1:29pm
        Jimmy said | May 9th 2018 @ 1:29pm | ! Report

        Yes, Thorn said something like “I haven’t seen him around here”, like something my 3rd grade subbies coach would say.

      • Roar Rookie

        May 9th 2018 @ 8:45pm
        Don said | May 9th 2018 @ 8:45pm | ! Report

        My understanding is that Hunt isn’t being paid by the Reds or the ARU.
        He stood himself down and hasn’t returned because the Reds would have moved to terminate his contract.

        You’ll see Hunt quietly slip away to a Euro Rugby club or even a Super League gig.

        • Roar Guru

          May 10th 2018 @ 9:26am
          jeznez said | May 10th 2018 @ 9:26am | ! Report

          Cheers Don – if he isn’t being paid then he can do what he likes, would be good to have a clear statement.

      • May 9th 2018 @ 9:43pm
        WorldinUnion said | May 9th 2018 @ 9:43pm | ! Report

        Do you think Brad Thorn may be racist against Maoris ?
        Quade and now Karmichael ????
        Only 15 more Reds players to go 🤪

    • May 9th 2018 @ 11:10am
      Malo said | May 9th 2018 @ 11:10am | ! Report

      Cause he can’t tackle , leaving everyone else to carry his non defence. He is history enjoy playing for Souths because that’s all you’ve got

      • Roar Guru

        May 11th 2018 @ 5:19pm
        Timbo (L) said | May 11th 2018 @ 5:19pm | ! Report

        You might want to look at your buddy Izzy’s on-field performances too.
        The pair of them were in a competition to see who could collect the most Pokemon cards and who could get back to hide on the wing the fastest. That Hair pulling/collar slinging incident is still fresh in my mind.
        The question is whether or not the “X-Factor” in one area sufficiently offsets the deficiencies in another.

        I would opt for more balanced players, – sit them both out until they learn to tackle and how to perform all roles required by their positions at the elite level.

    • May 9th 2018 @ 11:16am
      Taylorman said | May 9th 2018 @ 11:16am | ! Report

      “Why aren’t we talking about QC?”

      Is this like knock knock, Who’s there?

      Brett writes an article yesterday which didnt even mention Quade and it took nearly 100 posts after that to get to a non Quade one.

      • Columnist

        May 9th 2018 @ 11:28am
        Brett McKay said | May 9th 2018 @ 11:28am | ! Report

        Even when we’re not talking about him, we’re still talking about him…

        • Roar Guru

          May 9th 2018 @ 3:09pm
          Ralph said | May 9th 2018 @ 3:09pm | ! Report

          Hands up everyone who will buy the ‘Quade reveals all‘ book when he retires.

        • Roar Guru

          May 9th 2018 @ 3:14pm
          The Neutral View From Sweden said | May 9th 2018 @ 3:14pm | ! Report

          On your article yesterday Brett that discusses a very important subject regarding the future of rugby in the SH, the first 100 comments were about QC…

          • Columnist

            May 9th 2018 @ 4:42pm
            Brett McKay said | May 9th 2018 @ 4:42pm | ! Report

            …which was exactly Taylor’s point, NV…

            • Roar Guru

              May 9th 2018 @ 5:07pm
              jeznez said | May 9th 2018 @ 5:07pm | ! Report

              It’s exactly like the Quade comments on your article yesterday. The article had nothing to do with Quade but the first hundred posts wouldn’t have made you think that.

              • Roar Rookie

                May 9th 2018 @ 8:01pm
                Paulo said | May 9th 2018 @ 8:01pm | ! Report

                Wasn’t there an article the other day about SANZAAR being at a cross roads but like, the first 100 comments were about QC? Why hasn’t some one brought that up?

              • Columnist

                May 9th 2018 @ 9:22pm
                Brett McKay said | May 9th 2018 @ 9:22pm | ! Report

                Yeah, it’s a great point guys.

                I remember seeing what felt like a hundred comments about Quade Cooper on an article I’d written about the future of Super Rugby, or something completely unrelated. It was like even when we’re not talking about him, we’re still talking about him…

                PS: 😆

            • Roar Guru

              May 9th 2018 @ 10:24pm
              The Neutral View From Sweden said | May 9th 2018 @ 10:24pm | ! Report

              Oooops, scrolled by T-mans comment (that usually doesn’t happen). My apologies.

              • May 9th 2018 @ 10:36pm
                Taylorman said | May 9th 2018 @ 10:36pm | ! Report

                Make sure you dont do it again…or there’ll be consequences! 😁

              • Roar Guru

                May 10th 2018 @ 12:15am
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | May 10th 2018 @ 12:15am | ! Report

                You know it bru! 😉

              • Roar Guru

                May 10th 2018 @ 9:27am
                jeznez said | May 10th 2018 @ 9:27am | ! Report

                yeah – consequences like cheap jokes!


    • Roar Guru

      May 9th 2018 @ 11:39am
      pformagg said | May 9th 2018 @ 11:39am | ! Report

      Quade is a has been. He won’t play for the Reds unless there are some serious injuries. He definitely won’t play for the Wallabies, as per last year.

      • Roar Guru

        May 11th 2018 @ 5:21pm
        Timbo (L) said | May 11th 2018 @ 5:21pm | ! Report

        It is lucky that Cheika approached the ARU to pay him top dollar to come back from Europe then isn’t it.

        Foley at 12, you have got to be joking,.. Right?

    • May 9th 2018 @ 11:51am
      sheek said | May 9th 2018 @ 11:51am | ! Report


      I think the continued non-selection of Cooper says a lot about Reds coach Brad Thorn. And it’s not a good look.

      Thorn was one of the most admired rugby players in both codes, union & league.

      He was a man of tremendous grit, courage & integrity. As the old diggers would say, “a man you would be happy to have in the trenches with you”.

      It’s one of the greatest compliments diggers of two world wars & many other scraps could give a man, to happily go into the trenches with them.

      But by continually not selecting Cooper, is Thorn doubting himself?

      We all know Thorn is a hard taskmaster, or that is how he wants to portray himself. He could simply have said to Cooper, “This is what I expect of you (explains mode of standard) & as long as you abide by it, no problems”.

      So why won’t Thorn select Cooper, unless he doubts himself? Or the rift between them is very personal. Which still doesn’t really explain the situation.

      My view is, this is a poor decision by Thorn, & a blight on his coaching veracity.

      • May 9th 2018 @ 4:09pm
        Jacko said | May 9th 2018 @ 4:09pm | ! Report

        get with the program Sheek…How is not selecting QC doubting himself? It appears to the world that it is BACKING himself to the hilt. He clearly does not have any faith in QCs ability…like 4 coaches before him…and has the balls to make a stand….and it looks like a very clever decision so far based on results so to me…Keeping QC would be a blight on his coaching veracity.
        How do you know he didnt say to QC to train a certain way and QC wouldnt? The truth is you dont know but just make stuff up because you dislike Thorn…Do you also dislike the 7s coach? the Toulon coach? the 2 Aus coaches who have dropped him?

      • May 9th 2018 @ 4:37pm
        rl said | May 9th 2018 @ 4:37pm | ! Report

        I think the answer is in what you have written Sheek – Thorn (who played against Cooper enough to, in his mind, have formed a view on him) has decided that Cooper is not one to go in the trenches with. End of discussion as far as he is concerned.

        • Roar Guru

          May 9th 2018 @ 4:47pm
          Train Without A Station said | May 9th 2018 @ 4:47pm | ! Report

          I’m going to give Thorn the benefit of the doubt.

          Because if that’s what he thinks, then he will never be a good coach. That’s because it ignores the fact that other players weren’t good enough, or old enough to play against him at the time and that doesn’t necessarily make them better.

          • May 9th 2018 @ 6:52pm
            Jacko said | May 9th 2018 @ 6:52pm | ! Report

            looks like he is proving you wrong TWAS…4 wins already this year and its only round 9…..That was 4 wins all season for the Reds last year wasnt it?

            • May 9th 2018 @ 9:31pm
              Drongo said | May 9th 2018 @ 9:31pm | ! Report

              Would have won more with Quade playing behind this pack.

              • Roar Guru

                May 10th 2018 @ 12:42am
                Fox said | May 10th 2018 @ 12:42am | ! Report

                Perhaps, or lost more with his trademark errors or poor defence at the wrong time…supposition and conjecture Drongo on both counts.

          • Roar Guru

            May 10th 2018 @ 12:37am
            Fox said | May 10th 2018 @ 12:37am | ! Report

            Sorry TWAS but I have a lot more respect for Thorn than QC as player on and off the field period.

            His record leaves Quades for dust across two codes and one of the best Canterbury AB locks of all time.

            In the SMH today and article states Quade has been offered gigs at the Brumbies and Rebels but has turned them down because he wants to live in Queensland but Larkham in the same article has said if has genuine aspirations of playing for Australia he should take them or he has no show and says the balls in his court now and no one elses as QLD rugby and Thorn told him he was free to take offers and move long ago.

            As for Thorn never being a good coach – he is already proving to be a good coach in his first year and look what he did with the previous years wooden spooners last year – no mean feat

            And when we read in NZ newspapers and television that the AB coaches and NZ Rugby have their eye on him- you think they have their eye on rookie coaches they think can’t cut the mustard? Spare me – I don’t think so -not in that country.

            • Roar Guru

              May 10th 2018 @ 12:47am
              Fox said | May 10th 2018 @ 12:47am | ! Report

              Sorry “Offer” above, is the wrong word – he has been approached by the Rebels and Brumbies but he has no desire to move South so they moved no further with an actual offer or deal with QLD rugby and the Reds.

            • Roar Guru

              May 10th 2018 @ 9:36am
              Train Without A Station said | May 10th 2018 @ 9:36am | ! Report

              That doesn’t prove he is a good coach though.

              The Queensland Country team was actually even more experienced (When discussing SR Caps) than the dominant Brisbane City team of 2014-15.

              The players were vastly better than 2016 and that was a factor.

        • May 9th 2018 @ 6:00pm
          sheek said | May 9th 2018 @ 6:00pm | ! Report


          Everyone is entitled to make mistakes, learn from their mistakes & become a better person.

          Circa 2011 when QC was the saviour for the Wallabies at no.10, I couldn’t stand him, I thought he was a complete tosser.

          But by 2015 I had changed my mind about him. While he was still given to erratic moments, I felt he had matured & become a better player & person.

          Sometimes it’s us who need to change our perspective, not the person we’re deriding.

          Over my lifetime I’ve changed my opinion many times as hopefully, I’ve become better informed.

          • Roar Guru

            May 9th 2018 @ 6:13pm
            Machooka said | May 9th 2018 @ 6:13pm | ! Report

            There’s so much in this comment that befuddles me 🙂

            • May 9th 2018 @ 6:54pm
              Jacko said | May 9th 2018 @ 6:54pm | ! Report

              Well it did befuddle me but then i changed my mind

          • May 9th 2018 @ 7:49pm
            Cuw said | May 9th 2018 @ 7:49pm | ! Report

            @ sheek

            i wonder if u have noticed a similar thing is happening in England atm – re: CIPRIANI

            basically Cips was their Cooper , playing crazy on the field and going crazy off it.

            but after a few brushes with the Law , he became a better person and went under the coaching of Wilkinson’s mentor .

            for about 3 seasons now he has been playing great rugger – AND this season many experts including SCW think he is the best 10 in England.

            in fact SCW wrote ” it will be a disgrace if DC is not selected for South Africa tour”.

            despite all these noises Eddie J has ignored him during most of his tenure in England….

            the way i see – its sometimes hard to get rid of ur past!!!

            • May 10th 2018 @ 6:19am
              Taylorman said | May 10th 2018 @ 6:19am | ! Report

              Hmmm… leopard spots and all.
              Thing with cips is he gets carried away with the celebrity status. He looked good at one time, starred for England, then after match celebrations managed to get hit by a red bus, not the metaphor, the real one!

              He may be the Quade on the field but off it hes got more of the Jessie Ryder, Zac Guilford elements. Quade doesnt have the booze problem any more.

      • May 9th 2018 @ 7:57pm
        Steve Wright said | May 9th 2018 @ 7:57pm | ! Report

        The continued non selection of QC began long before BT became coach. The continued non selection, gross overpayment and infrequent mentioning of QC points to several of the serious fault lines in Aus rugby, THAT NOBODY IN A POSITION OF AUTHORITY and POWER has either the brains or balls to fix.

        Let’s get it straight – if you have a non performer (for any reason) in a workplace you don’t send him to the tea room all day on double time and don’t mention him – you FIRE him sharply or make him work (in this case play) up to standard or HE GOES. What is wrong with the clowns supposed to be running this sport????

        • May 10th 2018 @ 4:15pm
          Cole said | May 10th 2018 @ 4:15pm | ! Report

          Players aren’t employees. They are contractors, and under QC’s current contract their appears to be a clause of even if you don’t want to play me any more you just can’t stop paying me, I think that would be in every rugby players contract on the planet actually. If their contracts were dependent on form or continued performance then every bad performance, form slump or injury would result in a player contract termination! That would be quite unjust and no player’s manager or player’s union would allow a player to sign such a contract.

      • Roar Rookie

        May 9th 2018 @ 8:54pm
        Don said | May 9th 2018 @ 8:54pm | ! Report

        Thorn has been at the Reds for a while as an assistant and would have seen what he liked and didn’t like in QC up close.

        My only criticism of him is that, by all reports, he didn’t make it clear to Quade very early in his appointment as head coach that QC was not a required player going forward.
        Or did he?

        The public announcement was made late but were QC and his management actually notified earlier?

        I’d say Quade would be looking for Aus Rugby to negotiate a pay out % of his remaining contract for a bit of a cash windfall and leave QC to sign elsewhere outside of Aus.

      • May 10th 2018 @ 9:25am
        ken gargett said | May 10th 2018 @ 9:25am | ! Report

        i think you answered this yourself.
        “This is what I expect of you (explains mode of standard) & as long as you abide by it, no problems”.
        my understanding is that this is exactly the problem. QC would not get on board with thorn during training despite repeated attempts by thorn. in the end, thorn had little choice.
        great shame to see such a player not playing at the highest levels but i believe he brought it on himself.

        • Roar Guru

          May 10th 2018 @ 9:37am
          Train Without A Station said | May 10th 2018 @ 9:37am | ! Report

          Repeated attempts?

          Over the first week or pre-season?

          • May 10th 2018 @ 5:17pm
            ken gargett said | May 10th 2018 @ 5:17pm | ! Report

            my understanding was repeated attempts during the pre-season. that would seem obvious as cooper was excluded before that game. this is merely what i have heard from normally reliable sources. not first hand from thorn.

            • May 10th 2018 @ 9:35pm
              Train without a station said | May 10th 2018 @ 9:35pm | ! Report

              He was excluded a week after training first commenced after Thorn.

              Cooper wasn’t excluded before the first game. He was excluded before the 2nd week of training in November or December.

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