'Toxic' Cooper puts Aussie credibility on line
I have heard many selfish comments uttered by sportsmen in my time but, certainly within rugby, little to compare with the outpouring of verbal diarrhoea from self-obsessed Australian out-half Quade Cooper
Apparently the self-appointed Wallaby genius and spokesperson for the disaffected described the environment within the Aussie squad as "toxic" or more specifically "one in which I don't feel comfortable".
And he added: "If I don't feel I can give 100pc for my country and for that yellow jersey, that's a very big problem."
What he actually means is that he has issues with head coach Robbie Deans and Deans clearly has issues with the manic brat in his squad.
"For me to continue to improve as a player and as a person you want to be involved in the best possible environment and I feel that environment is sort of destroying me as a person and as a player. I'm just trying to be the best I can be," Cooper added.
With Australia facing the Springboks in Pretoria followed by the Pumas in Rosario, you would suspect Deans' coaching tenure to be on the line. If he goes -- aided and abetted by Cooper's promptings -- and the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) continue to honour the Queenslander's contract, at what cost would it be to the union's credibility?
If Deans continues in situ beyond the championship then surely Cooper's days in gold are numbered?
Yes, he is a gifted player with fantastic potential but is obviously a plonker. The real issue is how the ARU deal with these ramblings in the event of Deans being shown the door.
Could you imagine the reaction to Ronan O'Gara or Jonathan Sexton behaving in a similar vein here? We may criticise the IRFU for its authoritarian approach from time to time, but I would like to think I know how Philip Browne would handle this one were such "toxic" comments to be replicated here.
We shall monitor developments Down Under with more than a passing interest. Suffice to say Australian rugby's very credibility is on the line.