Australia boss defends Cooper's pay situation

    2018-02-09 06:35

    Sydney - Rugby Australia chief Raelene Castle on Friday defended Quade Cooper's contract situation but admitted it was not "perfect", as the dumped playmaker prepares to play club games on a Super Rugby salary this season.

    Cooper has been training with a Brisbane club after being told by new Reds coach Brad Thorn he was not required this season, which starts later in February, but will still have his contract honoured.

    The 29-year-old signed a three-year contract with the Reds in 2016 after a stint with European heavyweights Toulon.

    "It's not a perfect situation, no doubt," said Castle, who took over from Bill Pulver as the organisation's new chief executive, at an announcement of a new sponsorship partnership in Sydney.

    "The interesting thing about player contracting is it's not a perfect science and knowing whether to contract players for three years or four years or one year or two years."

    Castle conceded that Cooper's deal, in hindsight, was not quite right when he was brought back from French club rugby.

    "Sometimes you get it really right and sometimes, like the Quade situation, you get a situation where you go, 'Gee, if I had the benefit of hindsight we might have contracted for a shorter period of time,' but we are where we are," she said.

    "For us, I know he wants to work hard to make sure he can play Super Rugby because he wants to prove his worth."

    Wallabies coach Michael Cheika says Cooper's future will ultimately be determined by his reaction to his new situation in the coming months.

    Cheika said he has spoken with Cooper and was forewarned by Thorn about the significant move.

    "You write your own script (as a coach)," Cheika told reporters at the media conference.

    "They're the decisions you make and then you become accountable for those going forward.

    "I think there's ways out, there's ways we can turn that negative into a positive. It's just about getting it done."

    Cheika said how Cooper responded to his new situation would be key.

    "It's not an easy thing for him to be dealing with," he said. "As a footballer that's not nice when your coach says 'we don't want you'."

    Cheika also defended under-fire Reds fullback Karmichael Hunt, who is due to face court over drug possession charges in a fortnight.

    Hunt's cocaine possession charge was dropped last week, but his rugby future hangs in the balance with the 31-year-old Australian dual rugby international facing a charge of possessing a prescription drug.

    Hunt re-signed with the Queensland Reds late last year for another two years.

    "I think he'd be pretty down, personally down and (he feels he) let himself down in that situation," Cheika said.

    "He's not an evil person, that's for sure.

    "He's a good bloke, made a mistake in the past but I think now talking with the Reds and see where we're at and work together with Karmichael going forward."

    What To Read Next

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk


    Friday, 29 June 2018
    • Blues v Reds, Eden Park 09:35
    • Rebels v Waratahs, AAMI Park 11:45
    Saturday, 30 June 2018
    • Highlanders v Chiefs, ANZ National Stadium 09:35
    • Brumbies v Hurricanes, GIO Stadium 11:45
    • Sunwolves v Bulls, Singapore National Stadium 13:55
    • Sharks v Lions, Jonsson Kings Park Stadium 17:15
    • Jaguares v Stormers, Estadio Jose Amalfitani 19:40
    Friday, 06 July 2018
    • Crusaders v Highlanders, AMI Stadium 09:35
    • Reds v Rebels, Suncorp Stadium 11:45


    04 August 2018
    28 July 2018
    21 July 2018
    20 July 2018
    14 July 2018
    13 July 2018
    07 July 2018
    06 July 2018
    30 June 2018
    29 June 2018
    03 June 2018
    02 June 2018
    01 June 2018
    26 May 2018
    25 May 2018
    19 May 2018
    18 May 2018
    12 May 2018
    11 May 2018
    05 May 2018
    04 May 2018
    28 April 2018
    27 April 2018
    22 April 2018
    21 April 2018
    20 April 2018
    14 April 2018
    13 April 2018
    07 April 2018
    06 April 2018
    01 April 2018
    31 March 2018
    30 March 2018
    24 March 2018
    23 March 2018
    18 March 2018
    17 March 2018
    16 March 2018
    10 March 2018
    09 March 2018
    03 March 2018
    02 March 2018
    24 February 2018
    23 February 2018
    17 February 2018


    Rank Team P W Pts

    Opinion Poll

    Who will win the upcoming 2018 Rugby Championships?

    Can you name the top Super Rugby tryscorers of all-time?

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