Thursday 26 April 2018

Cooper says no to league switch

ANY hopes Ireland may have harboured of not having to face Quade Cooper (right) in their critical World Cup pool match against Australia next year have been dashed with the news that the 22-year-old, the Wallabies' most innovative attacker, has turned down a switch to rugby league.

Cooper has been the most exciting player in Australian rugby over the last year and was offered a lucrative three-year deal by NRL side Parramatta Eels, which he rejected in favour of a one-year deal from the ARU.

Cooper has had a tough time off the pitch, facing criminal charges for burglary that were dropped, and has paid tribute to Wallaby team-mates Kurtley Beale, James O'Connor and David Pocock.

The close friends are just back from a holiday in Bali and Cooper said it was his sense of 'mateship' with these players that swayed him to stay with union.

"'I can't even tell you how much my life has changed in a year," said Cooper. "There have been so many ups but just as many downs and it's been a good thing having guys like KB, James O'Connor and David Pocock to help each other through the good times and the bad."

"Thanks for that this morning boys, it always helps when your team talk is written for you."

-- London Irish coach Toby Booth to English rugby journalists after the win over Munster.

"We haven't beaten the All Blacks for some time but there's an old saying in sport, 'ding dong the witch is dead'."

-- Australian Rugby Union CEO John O'Neill.

"I need to find closure now and move on with my life."

-- Former Garryowen and All Blacks coach John Mitchell is anxious to get back to work with the Golden Lions after he was stabbed during a break-in in Johannesburg.

Irish Independent

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