Sydney - Wallaby great Tim Horan believes Quade Cooper should use his
injury-enforced lay-off to reflect on his disappointing World Cup
performance and try to understand how to play Test rugby.
Cooper, who is sidelined for six months after surgery
following a knee injury during the recent tournament in New Zealand, was
a star of the Reds' triumphant Super Rugby campaign this year.
But his razzle-dazzle play didn't translate well on the Rugby World Cup stage.
He wasn't helped by the added pressure of being a target
for New Zealand fans, who made him public enemy No.1 after a previous
clash with All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw.
Too often the 26-year-old Wallabies flyhalf looked
for a short-cut to the try line, with his kicks or passes not finding
Horan, who was part of Australia's 1991 and 1999 World
Cup-winning sides, said Cooper needed to learn that Super Rugby and Test
matches demand two very different styles of play.
"For Quade Cooper, I think he needs to understand how to
play Test match rugby," Horan said at a Melbourne Rebels function on
"It's totally different to Super Rugby. In Super Rugby you can make a couple of mistakes and get away with it.
"In Test matches you can't and in World Cups when you get
to knock-out stages, sometimes you have to play boring rugby to win the
Horan hopes that Cooper, who has been linked to a switch
to rugby league, wouldn't be lost to the game and would get another
chance for World Cup success.
"For Quade, with six months out of the game, he can
reflect on where he went wrong in the World Cup and hopefully he will
stay in rugby for many years to come and will be a Wallaby at the next
World Cup in 2015 to redeem himself."