Connolly calls for Cooper ban

2012-10-19 12:43

Sydney - Former Test coach John Connolly has called for the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) to ban disgruntled playmaker Quade Cooper for 12 months for his "unforgivable" criticism of the Wallabies.

According to website, on a day when his coaching successor Robbie Deans said he'd started rebuilding bridges with Cooper, Connolly tipped the ARU to punish the star flyhalf in the next week over claims of a toxic environment in the Wallabies.

Cooper's future in the code is on thin ice following a series of attacks on the code and the Wallabies' boring style of play, and his reluctance to wear the gold jersey until things changed.

Connolly, who took Australia to the 2007 World Cup and previously coached Queensland through their successful 1990s era, said the attacks simply couldn't be tolerated.

"It's unforgivable what Cooper did," Connolly told Radio Sport New Zealand. "You can't imagine one of the All Blacks criticising (coach Steve) Hansen and the game.

"It's just ridiculous what's happened and I hope (the ARU) do make a strong statement. He's said he doesn't want to play for his country - well then that's fine.

"I don't think you treat the Wallabies coach or the country or the jersey or speak about the game the way he did without some severe ramifications - maybe a 12-month suspension from the game."

High-level talks between the ARU and Queensland Rugby Union over Cooper's issues are expected to be held this weekend and the matter is certain to be discussed at next week's ARU board meeting.

While sidelined by a knee injury, Cooper is determined to play on for the Queensland Reds - who boast an 87 per cent success rate in the past three seasons with him at No.10 - but he first needs to sign an ARU contract.

Deans on Friday said he'd spoken to the 24-year-old this week and would talk to him again in the days following Saturday night's Bledisloe clash at Suncorp Stadium.

Asked if he was confident there would be a resolution, Deans nodded.

Cooper's absence from the national team - on top of injuries to fellow playmakers James O'Connor and Berrick Barnes and halfback Will Genia - prompted reports Australia were considering calling Matt Giteau and Luke Burgess into their European tour squad.

The former Wallabies halves partners both play in France which precludes them from selection under the long-held ARU policy of only picking Australian-based players.


  • Sammy Willow - 2012-10-19 12:50

    cooper looks like the situation from jersey shore

  • donavan.boshoff - 2012-10-19 12:55

    A ban would be playing into his hands, him and muddy bill williams want to be team mates in league anyways. I would pick him for every game (with a performance clause and if he plays like a knob don't give him his match fee) and put the onus on him to walk away, besides aussie rugby has made him the monster he is and now they want nothing to do with him. His ego is so swollen he reckons he is untouchable. Nobody is bigger than the game.

      hamish.drake1 - 2012-10-19 13:40

      Agreed Dono. Banning him now would push him back into league.

      gsaker1 - 2012-10-20 03:15

      Disagree - he should be banned if a player carried on the way he has - and especially after ordinary performance where his MANY flaws were found out...neither the All Blacks nor the Spring Box would tolerate that crap. The player would probably never be allowed back in after saying he would refuse to wear the jersey if picked to play for his country. No SA or NZ player would ever say that...What an egotistical tosser...who ain't nearly as good as he think he is. Ban the guy..teach him a lesson. League club in Australia have gone cold on Cooper of late and he know it. He might get signed but not for anywhere near the bucks he wants.

  • jaques.tredoux - 2012-10-19 12:57

    This chap is sooooo overrated! I fail to see what the hype is around this guy! He completely failed at test level as he couldn't take the pressure and he had a dismal RWC'11 perfomance. Let this one fly News 24!

  • gary.doyle.520 - 2012-10-19 13:07

    Some sportsmen think you have to be contraversial to leave a legacy of some sort.

  • johan.fourie.566 - 2012-10-19 13:20

    Family of Puke Watson i see.

  • NigelJamesTurner - 2012-10-19 13:42

    Shades of KP and England

  • fatu.esialai - 2012-10-19 17:38

    What he did was unforgivable. Good luck QC in the future, coz you have burned your bridges with this team.

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