Banished Reds star Quade Cooper has been praised for his professionalism and for not “throwing the toys out of the cot” despite facing a season-long Super Rugby snub from coach Brad Thorn.
Former Test livewire Cooper is one of the four Wallabies not wanted by rookie coach Thorn this season along with Karmichael Hunt, James Slipper and Nick Frisby.
Frisby was the first of the four to re-locate clubs, this week signing with Glasgow Warriors on a two year deal.
Cooper, who is on a reported $800,000 per year contract which has been topped up by Rugby Australia, has played out the season with Brisbane team Souths and was joined in the side by Hunt last weekend.
Hunt and Cooper are tied to the Reds until the end of 2019, while former skipper Slipper reportedly inked a new deal through to 2020 before being given a ban for cocaine use.
It has been a difficult situation for the Rugby Players’ Association, whose boss, Ross Xenos said Cooper is able to stand tall with the situation.
These guys have committed to playing their rugby in Queensland,” Xenos told the Fox Rugby Podcast.
“The opportunity to play for the Reds has been closed on them.
“They’re playing the cards they’ve been dealt.
“It’s not only the on field behaviour, but actually, some of the reports coming out of Souths and some of the work that Quade’s done off the field, the impact that Quade playing for Souths is having on other clubs in the competition — when they can build their games against Souths as ‘Quade Cooper Day’ — there’s interestingly been other flow on benefits I think for premier rugby in Queensland off the back of the position the players have taken.”
Meanwhile, Slipper’s future at Ballymore is once again up in the air, but the current agenda is on his well being after the prop revealed troubles with depression.
“I think that there’s probably a lot of people out there who were surprised how respectfully these players have handled these situations, and that they haven’t thrown their toys out of the cot, and that they haven’t gone and stepped outside the lines of respectful conduct and the like, and they’ve gone back and they’ve accepted, again, the cards that they’ve been dealt,” said Xenos, who will leave RUPA for a new job at the Rebels next month.
“And they’ve been as good role models for the game as they can be.
“They’re doing their best to accept responsibility for what they’ve done and get on with things.”