Rugby Championship

Oz shut out Cooper sideshow

2012-09-25 09:02
Quade Cooper (AFP)
Cape Town - The Wallabies are not letting the off field distractions involving Reds flyhalf Quade Cooper affect them, saying that there was a “great buzz” around the squad.

According to the allblacks.com website, the Wallabies will play the Springboks in Pretoria on Saturday, but are without Cooper who was not named in the squad due to a knee injury.

In recent days Cooper has taken to Twitter and Australian Media to voice his displeasure at how the Wallabies are being run, labelling it a “toxic environment”.

He also has singled out Wallabies coach Robbie Deans, saying on a deleted comment on Twitter that he is only allowed to play real rugby during the Investec Super Rugby season.

Despite having signed a three-year deal with the Reds, negotiations are currently in place for the Australian Rugby Union component, but many feel that his public comments may have placed his rugby career in jeopardy.

However this may not be an issue for Cooper, who has also stated he has a desire to play alongside Sonny Bill Williams in league.

Wallabies utility back Adam Ashley-Cooper said the team was concentrating on the Springboks.

"This won't be a distraction for us," Ashley-Cooper.

"There's a great buzz in the squad and we're excited to be here. We've had two good wins in this competition and we feel we're building as a group."

At this stage the Australian Rugby Union has not formally responded to the comments, although it is not the first time that the 24-year-old has crossed swords with his employer.

Reds boss Jim Carmichael spoke up in the Courier Mail on Tuesday saying that he intended to speak to Cooper, saying that his return to Ballymore was being compromised by his remarks.

"I'm fed up to be honest,” Carmichael said.

“Quade is making silly comments that do damage to our code."

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