Cooper's agent returns fire

2011-10-19 10:00

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 forward.

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.

Rugby Heaven

  • Peter - 2011-10-19 10:36

    Always thought he was overated and too big a risk at flyhalf. Maybe fullback is a better position but he cannot tackle so I don't think he will last too long.

  • Andre - 2011-10-19 10:40

    Cooper is the All Blacks's bunny now!! Hahahaha Cooper is so overated and scared of contact!

  • Rory - 2011-10-19 10:53

    You had me at... hello. (sob sob) ;-(

  • Barry - 2011-10-19 20:13

    Cooper showed tremendous character, despite not performing as he would have liked. He was always going to take flack being born in NZ, not his fault. Hope he rides the storm and comes back strong. Only New Zealand people could trash a person the way they did in the press and at the matches. I doubt it would happen anywhere else

      Bok - 2011-10-20 01:57

      Barry wheres your boyfriend at the moment you not choking

      Barry - 2011-10-20 19:20

      My boyfriend has left me for you.

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