Rugby Championship

Cooper slams 'toxic' Wallabies

2012-09-24 08:26
Quade Cooper (Gallo)

Sydney - Outspoken Wallabies flyhalf Quade Cooper has criticised the conservative coaching methods and tactics of Robbie Deans, describing the environment within the Australian team as "toxic".

Cooper, 24, currently sidelined with a knee injury, attacked the Australian Rugby Union and the Wallabies set-up in a series of weekend Twitter posts.

Cooper criticised Australia's boring playing style, warning the Wallabies would continue to lose fans and Bledisloe Tests against New Zealand with conservative tactics.

Cooper said he was only allowed to play his maverick attacking game in Super Rugby for Queensland and might join close friend and All Black Sonny Bill Williams in Australia's National Rugby League next season.

"I love rugby but there's s--t going on behind and above the players (that affects) the whole organisation!" Cooper said in one of his tweets.

When a Twitter follower told Cooper he should be allowed to play in his trademark exciting manner, the Reds flyhalf responded with an apparent shot at Deans' conservative tactics.

"I am allowed from February to May sir," Cooper said, in reference to his Super Rugby season under Reds coach Ewen McKenzie.

"If people want to go out there and play a boring brand of football then there's other guys they can pick to do that."

But Cooper later said the tweets were not solely an attack on Deans but on the whole Wallabies/ARU set-up -- players, selectors, officials and coaches -- which he claimed was not as professional as the last year's Super Rugby champions Reds.

"There's a lot of people who are afraid to say what they feel so they just go along with it and nothing is going to change," Cooper told Australian Associated Press late Sunday.

"That's why I feel so strongly as a player. I don't want to be involved in the toxic environment, and that's how it is at the moment.

"It's an environment where things aren't going according to plan and everyone is looking to point the finger."

Cooper, involved in contract negotiations with the ARU, said he loved rugby and wanted to continue to play under Deans, who is under pressure to keep his job amid struggling team performances in this year's Rugby Championship.

"All I want to do is fix the problems and get on with it and win rugby games," he said.

"That's not to say I'm not supporting Robbie. He's done a lot for me as a kid coming through.

"I'm very respectful to Robbie and I'm very thankful to Robbie as well for giving me the opportunity that he has."

After consecutive defeats to world champions New Zealand, the Wallabies have had narrow Rugby Championship wins over South Africa and Argentina at home and lie second on the standings.


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