Click and you could have your selfie appear on a Springbok player's Rugby World Cup jersey!

Up to Cooper to quit: ARU

2012-09-28 09:04

Sydney - Australian Rugby Union chief John O'Neill is "utterly confused" at much of the criticism levelled by Quade Cooper at his organisation and says it is up to the flyhalf if he plays for the Wallabies again.

Cooper, currently sidelined by injury, said in a television interview on Thursday he would not play for Australia unless changes were made to the "toxic" environment surrounding the team, which he felt was "destroying" him.

"Most disturbingly, he was firm about not playing for the Wallabies unless things change," O'Neill said in a statement released on Friday.

"If that is how he feels, then that is his choice. The reality is a decision on whether or not he stays in Australian rugby has to this point rested with him since he received an ARU offer in early July."

The 24-year-old's contract with the ARU expires at the end of the year and he has not signed a new deal despite agreeing to stay an extra three years in Super Rugby with the Reds.

In the television interview, Cooper slammed the defensive tactics of coach Robbie Deans, who was installed by O'Neill, and said his dissatisfaction with the environment at the Wallabies had come to a head after the win over Argentina two weeks ago.

"Much of what was said ... has left us utterly confused," O'Neill added.

"Quade wants more of a say in the game plan, he wants to play his style of game. He certainly made that clear. Yet he also said he could adapt if required.

"He talks of an unhappy environment without elaborating. He uses the word 'toxic' - an extremely strong descriptor."

Another of Cooper's complaints was that the Wallabies did not have a dedicated training facility, a criticism dismissed out of hand by O'Neill.

"We've never had these concerns raised previously," he said. "The fact is the Wallabies are a national team. They train, stay and play in cities all around the country and overseas.

"The Australian cricket team and the Socceroos, same thing. Suggesting the Wallabies are under resourced has equally come out of the blue."

Cooper also reiterated that he wanted to play alongside Sonny Bill Williams, the All Black who has been linked with rugby league's Sydney Roosters, further fuelling rumours that he might be preparing to quit rugby union.

At his best a mercurial talent whose unpredictability can unlock the game's increasingly tight defences, Cooper helped Australia to a first Tri-Nations title in a decade last year.

The New Zealand-born playmaker had less success at last year's World Cup in New Zealand, where he was vilified as the host country's "public enemy No 1" and ended the tournament with a serious knee injury.

A further problem with the joint ruled him out of Saturday's match against South Africa in Pretoria and the last Wallabies game of the Rugby Championship against the Pumas in Argentina.

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Tue, 29 Jul 2014 @00:00
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


08 August 2015
  • Australia v New Zealand, ANZ Stadium 12:05
  • South Africa v Argentina, Growthpoint Kings Park 17:05
15 August 2015
  • Argentina v South Africa, Estadio Jose Amalfitani 21:40
19 September 2015
  • South Africa v Japan, Brighton Community Stadium 17:45


Rank Team P W Pts


26 July 2015
25 July 2015
18 July 2015
17 July 2015
11 July 2015
29 November 2014
22 November 2014
15 November 2014
08 November 2014
04 October 2014
27 September 2014
13 September 2014
06 September 2014
23 August 2014
16 August 2014
28 June 2014
21 June 2014
14 June 2014
07 June 2014
23 November 2013
17 November 2013
09 November 2013
05 October 2013
28 September 2013
14 September 2013
07 September 2013
24 August 2013
17 August 2013
22 June 2013
15 June 2013
08 June 2013

Opinion Poll

After losing to the All Blacks in Johannesburg, do the Springboks stand any chance at the World Cup?

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.