Tag Archives: roosters

Quade Cooper rejects Australia contract offer

Controversial Cooper quits Wallabies to hand Lions massive boost ahead of 2013 tour

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UPDATED:

13:01 GMT, 19 November 2012

Enigma: Cooper

Enigma: Cooper

Enigmatic Australia fly half Quade Cooper will not feature against the British and Irish Lions next year after he rejected a contract offer by the ARU to considering pursuing a career overseas or switch to Rugby League.

Cooper – considered to be one of the finest talent in world rugby – had signed a three-year deal with his Super Rugby club Queensland Reds in June but that deal, reportedly worth around A$400,000 (261,000) a year, is contingent upon a contract with the ARU with whom the 24-year-old has endured a fractious relationship.

Channel Nine news said on Monday the New Zealand-born fly half had rejected a low incentive-based ARU contract, and could now switch to the lucrative French Top 14 competition or to Rugby League.

New Zealand World Cup-winning centre Sonny Bill Williams quit Union and signed for the Sydney Roosters in Australia’s National Rugby League (NRL) last week and said earlier this year he would only switch codes if Cooper followed suit.

'I reckon (Cooper) would be a huge success,' Williams, also New Zealand’s heavyweight boxing champion, said in September.

'He has definitely got the skill-set to play the 13-man game.

Last time out: The fly half last featured against Argentina in September

Last time out: The fly half last featured against Argentina in September

'The biggest difference is in rugby you are playing on the advantage line, whereas in league the defence is 10 metre back. Imagine what he could do with that extra space.'

Cooper, currently sidelined by a knee injury, has not played for Australia since describing the team environment as 'toxic' – a comment which led the ARU to fine him $40,000 (13,000) last month.

Cooper apologised after the fine, which included a further A$20,000 suspended for two years, the latest black mark on his troubled spell with the Wallabies.

On the pitch and on his game, Cooper is one of the best fly halves in world rugby but headlines have not all centred on his abundance of attacking-talent.

World class: Cooper is considered to be among rugby's elite

World class: Cooper is considered to be among rugby's elite

Cooper was fined A$10,000 (6,500) by the ARU in 2009 after breaking the window of a taxi, with a burglary charge against him dropped the following year after a justice mediation process.

He led the Queensland Reds to a first Super Rugby title in 2011 after forming a devastating partnership with scrumhalf Will Genia and the two were also at the centre of the Wallabies success in the final Tri-Nations that same year.

Cooper accepted the role of public enemy number one when he returned to his homeland for the 2011 World Cup but a low-key tournament for the fly half ended with knee reconstruction surgery after injury in the third-placed playoff win over Wales.

Life goes on: The Wallabies lift the Cook Cup after beating England at Twickenham without Cooper on Saturday

Life goes on: The Wallabies lift the Cook Cup after beating England at Twickenham without Cooper on Saturday

In his absence, Melbourne Rebels back Kurtley Beale has showcased his talents at the fulcrum of the Wallabies side with Berrick Barnes, Mike Harris and James O’Connor able alternatives that have shown coach Robbie Deans that Cooper is no longer irreplaceable.

While a switch to League remains the most likely destination for Cooper, the lucrative French league, where former Wallabies flyhalf Matt Giteau plies his trade, is another viable option.

Quade Cooper receives letter from Australian Rugby Union over Twitter row

Wallabies write letter to rebel Cooper in attempt to diffuse Twitter row

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UPDATED:

09:53 GMT, 27 September 2012

Twitter row: Cooper

Twitter row: Cooper

The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) has sent a letter to fly-half Quade Cooper about the tweets he posted last weekend criticising the national set-up and the tactics of coach Robbie Deans.

The tweets, now erased from his feed @quadecooper, suggested there were problems behind the scenes at the ARU and that he was not allowed to play the brand of rugby he preferred with the Wallabies.

The New Zealand-born fly-half followed that with an interview with local media on Sunday in which he described the environment around the ARU as 'toxic'.

In brief statement on Thursday, the ARU said it had written to Cooper 'in relation to social media comments' but had 'no intention of conducting those discussions with Quade in the public arena'.

The 24-year-old Wallabies and Queensland back has been sidelined for Australia's last two Tests of the Rugby Championship in South Africa and Argentina because of a knee problem.

The ARU has also declined to discuss the progress of a new Wallabies contract for Cooper, whose current deal expires at the end of this year.

Cooper has signed a new three-year contract with the Queensland Reds but it will not be ratified until a Wallabies deal is completed.

His recent comments along with another
saying he wanted to play with Sonny Bill Williams – the All Black who
has been linked with rugby league's Sydney Roosters – has further
fuelled rumours that Cooper might be preparing to quit the code.

New deal: Cooper has committed to Queensland Reds for the next three years

New deal: Cooper has committed to Queensland Reds for the next three years

At his best a mercurial talent whose unpredictability can unpick the game's increasingly tight defences, Cooper helped Queensland to their first Super Rugby title and Australia to a first Tri-nations title in a decade last year.

Queensland Rugby chief Jim Carmichael was moved to release a public statement on Wednesday in an attempt to ease the fears of the province's fans.

'Let me reassure you that Quade has no interest in leaving the Reds,' it read.

'He loves playing for Queensland and representing his country and has reaffirmed his commitment to our organisation on several occasions, and again as late as yesterday afternoon.'

Bradford Bulls new manager is Francis Cummins

Bullish! Cummins handed the reins at troubled Bradford on Potter recommendation

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UPDATED:

13:40 GMT, 17 September 2012

Bradford have appointed former Leeds winger Francis Cummins as their new head coach on a three-year contract.

Cummins, who was recommended for the job by his predecessor Mick Potter after he opted to return to Australia, was unveiled on Monday morning at Odsal hosted by new owner Omar Khan and honorary chairman Gerry Sutcliffe.

Sutcliffe said: 'We had no hesitation in taking Mick's recommendation to offer the job to Francis and we are delighted he has accepted our offer.'

New man: Bradford Bulls have confirmed Francis Cummins as their coach

New man: Bradford Bulls have confirmed Francis Cummins as their coach

It will be Cummins' first role as a head coach and, at 35, he will be the youngest in Super League when he takes charge of his first match in February.

Catalan Dragons' Australian boss Trent Robinson is nine months younger but he is leaving at the end of the season to take charge of Sydney Roosters.

Cummins enjoyed a one-club career with Leeds, for whom he made 356 appearances from 1993 to 2005, and also won three caps for Great Britain.

The former Ireland international cut his coaching teeth as an assistant at Leeds before being appointed as Potter's number two at the start of the 2010 season.

Along with Potter, Cummins worked without pay for the last three months of the season after being made redundant by the administrator amid the club's financial problems in early July.

Anthony Gelling toilet humour

Gelling's toilet humour follows him half way round the world: from Auckland to Wigan

Wigan new boy Anthony Gelling expects to be the butt of some toilet humour in Super League this year.

The 21-year-old Cook Islands international, who has joined Wigan from the Auckland Vulcans, was sacked by the Sydney Roosters in 2010 after he and a team-mate were found to have defecated on tables in a hotel room.

Gelling, who spent two seasons with the Roosters' Under-20s, got his career back on track with the Vulcans, the New Zealand Warriors' feeder club, in 2011 but admits his actions will take some living down.

Prank: Gelling is hoping to put previous indiscretions behind him

Prank: Gelling is hoping to put previous indiscretions behind him

'People are always going to remind me about it,' he said at Wigan's pre-season media day.

'It's not something you read every day. It was pretty rough at first. I didn't expect it to be front page of the sports section.

'Me and the other guy that was involved, Sammy Brunton, both still keep it in mind. It's something you've got to learn from, make sure it doesn't happen again.

'We've both moved forward, we're still playing footie. It is pretty character-building. People are always going to give me a bit of stick for it but you just take it on the chin.'

The 6ft 5in, 16st centre or second rower found himself in hot water with new Wigan coach Shaun Wane a week ago after being late for training on consecutive days and is now sporting bleached hair as a result.

'I didn't get a training schedule for the week ahead so I went home that night thinking we had the Monday off,' he said.

'When I spoke to Shaun, he said “you've the day off tomorrow” and I told him I was sorry and it wouldn't happen again.

'But when he said day off he meant a day off the field, training – we still had weights and everything – so I've done it again.'

The outcome was a heavy fine and a forfeit determined by the roll of a dice.

'Each number has something bad on it,' he explained. 'The first one I rolled had a fake tan but they said that doesn't count for me so I had to roll again and got bleached hair. I've definitely learned my lesson.'

Wane said: 'It wasn't a good start but he understands now. That won't happen again.'