Cooper might still rebuff Toulon?
Sydney - Wallabies coach Michael Cheika thinks flyhalf Quade Cooper is
showing every sign that he might take a new deal with the Australian Rugby
Union (ARU) and rebuff a move to wealthy French club Toulon.
Toulon announced in April that the mercurial back had signed a two-year deal
to join the Top 14 rugby club after this year's World Cup in England.
Despite that announcement, the ARU and his Super Rugby side the Reds have
continued talks and Cheika believes there is now a deal on the table that could
tempt Cooper to remain in Australia.
"The way he is investing in what we are doing... and his input into the
programme and what is going on, you'd like to think he is staying for quite a
while because that's definitely the feel he has given off," Cheika told
reporters on Monday.
"His commitment and investment in that project, what he's giving, and
his involvement there, and his eagerness to be involved.
"But it is still a decision that is up to him and his management. They
are taking their time to make the right one and I don't have a problem with
"I'm very keen for him to stay."
Faced with a flood of internationals heading off to Europe after the World
Cup, including Cooper's Reds team-mates Will Genia and James Horwill, the ARU
changed its rules on eligibility in April.
Cooper currently falls seven caps short of the 60-cap tally for Australians
who want to continue playing for their country while at clubs in other
The 27-year-old missed most of last year's international season because of
injury and slipped behind Bernard Foley in the pecking order for the Australia
number 10 shirt.
He played only five matches for the Reds this year because of further
injuries but showed a few flashes of his old brilliance in the last three games
of the season after returning from a shoulder problem.