Cooper's agent returns fire
Auckland - Quade Cooper's manager has hit back at criticism of the Wallabies
star in the Rugby World Cup, saying he had been subjected to unreasonable
expectations because of his exceptional talent.
Cooper, who was public enemy No 1 in New Zealand during
the tournament, has came under intense scrutiny over his performance in
last Sunday's loss to the All Blacks but Khoder Nasser defended his
client and said the Wallabies were a team on the rise.
''Those people criticising him should understand where
this team has come from and see the improvement and the great job they
have done,'' Nasser said.
''Not only did they win the Tri Nations but, in the last World Cup,
they only got to the quarter-finals whereas, this time, they lost in the
semi-final against a superpower playing at home.''
Asked how he thought the 23-year-old flyhalf had
played, Nasser said: ''He went pretty good. From my understanding, you
have to have a forward pack going forward for the rest of the team to go
That is part of the learning curve for the whole team.''
However, Nasser said Cooper was unfazed by the criticism and accepted it
''came with the territory''. ''Usually, the criticism is all weighed on
the guy that they expect to get the team over the line; the exceptional
players are expected to do exceptional things all the time,'' he said.
''In the end, Australia was only two wins away from
winning the World Cup and they lost the semi-final against a very
powerful team who should win the World Cup in their own country.''
Nasser also ridiculed comments attributed to an unnamed
player agent in The Daily Telegraph that Cooper's value, if he switched
to the NRL, had dropped from $700 000 per season to about $300 000. He
also took a swipe at Parramatta chief executive Paul Osborne, who said
the Eels had ''dodged a bullet'' when they missed out on signing Cooper.
''First, they aren't Quade's manager; secondly, they
haven't even got the balls to put their names and so, thirdly, they
probably don't even register on the map,'' he said. Cooper is under
contract for a further 12 months. Nasser said his value would increase
because of the World Cup. ''He was the most attacked player by the All
Blacks, and you are not the most attacked player by the All Blacks if
you are not a threat,'' he said.
Cooper on Tuesday received support on Twitter from former
Test cricketer Damien Martyn, ex-Hockeyroos captain Nikki Hudson and
Anthony Mundine, who is also managed by Nasser.
Cooper tweeted that he was trying to organise a
television feed for the Wallabies to watch Mundine's fight against
Rigoberto Alvarez in Newcastle.