On ya bike Quade: we've got JO'C
All Blacks

On ya bike Quade: we’ve got JO’C

On ya bike Quade: we’ve got JO’C

A bit of advice son: (1) Nobody is bigger than the game, and (2) You need to pay a few dues before you start making inflated demands.

I say call his bluff. I suspect that’s all it is but if it was anything deeper than that then so what?

Some people seem to think Quade Cooper is the only talent we’ve got as a play-maker and it would be a disaster of Titantic proportions if he slunk off to the mungos. Some even think that QC holds all the cards?

Sorry, but I just don’t go with that at all. Sure, he’s a quality player with loads of potential but JO’N is right, he’s not even established in the Wallabies yet.

How many test matches has he started in so far against quality opposition? Actually, only four games as a five eighth versus Six Nations or Tri-Nations sides. And he’s never played the All Blacks in any position, either starting or off the bench.

He had a great Super 14 for the Reds and in combination with Will Genia they were the premier halves coupling in Australia.

However; in my view he’s got a way to go before he can start calling himself ‘indispensable’. And really, nobody is indispensable.

I don’t have a problem with his manager seeking out more lucrative deals for his client in any code at all. And make no mistake, his manager is doing it with Cooper’s sanction.

But I get mightily pissed off when this is going on after apparently committing to the Reds (I know he hasn’t actually signed) and after the way the ARU/QRU have bent over backwards to invest time, money and support to rehabilitate him after his recent, ummm Broadbandbeach episode….

There’s no problem with a bit of argy-bargy during the negotiation phase either and he deserves what he’s worth but to publicly do what they’re up to has ‘mungo’ written all over it. Certainly no better than any of the leaguies who try to use union as a bargaining chip.

How do you think he would go in league? On recent forums, some think that he already has the culture and characteristics of a leaguie but I couldn’t possibly comment.

I suppose any obvious shortcoming would be in defence. You are more exposed and it’s heavily weighted to ‘one on one’ tackling.

Big boofheads would be targeting him but I suppose if Benji does it then so can Quade. As an attacking player he’d certainly be a success.

But talk about short ‘term-ism’. Just think how much he could command in rugby union down the track if he continues to progress and reaches his undoubted potential. He could quite possibly be the next Dan Carter.

If he departed union he’d leave a bit of a hole but we could quickly fill it with JO’C. Young Mr Rabbit is not yet established in any one particular position – he’s been a bit part utility so far.

This season we’ve seen him play at fullback, wing, inside centre and five eighth. Nobody seems sure where he’s going to end up but it increasingly looks like he needs to be on the field somewhere.

At fullback for the Force he became one of their main play-makers as first receiver (I think we called him a ‘flyback’). At another stage he slotted in at five eighths for a few games and did a sterling job.

In fact, he played most of his schoolboy rugby in that position so adapted to it pretty readily when called upon.

Berrick a solid backup

He possesses the distribution skills, passing game, kicking and vision of a quality five eighth and is just a damned exiting and creative player with the ball in hand.

This season his defence has firmed and he’s physically bulked up. If QC did the unthinkable then I believe this would be a realistic option for Robbie Deans to pursue.

That’s not forgetting that Berrick Barnes is still a solid playmaker and Kurtley Beale has also some experience in that role.

In the backgound are coming youngsters like Matt Toomua and Christian Lealiifano. So, all would not be lost if he departed.

This little episode is not a great portent of things to come. If this is how he is now while still wet-behind-the ears, how is he going to be when he’s actually ‘arrived’?

Something to ponder perhaps but in the meantime JO’C could be our man.









  • Joel

    Don’t underestimate the loss of QC.

    As a South African I tense up every time he gets the ball – he’s gone and done it again, he’s danced his way past the defensive line / he’s just thrown a no-look pass while running the other way / he’s kicked over the line.

    His defence will only get better. Even the legal indiscretions will disappear as he gets more mature. How many X-factor players are there in this generation?

    If Giteau was worth AUD 3m to the Western Force, surely he is worth it to the ARU?

    He’s still a swamp rat though :)

  • Tangawizi

    I don’t think Quade will end up going anywhere. Not yet anyway. As a Kiwi kid you dream of winning the Rugby World Cup, the Bledlisloe and the Super 14 comp. And how many of those things has he done so far? That’s right – none of the above.

    I get the impression that he hasn’t really grasped how this would play out. His Manager’s probably told him to come to a few meetings to try and bump up his price, so off he’s gone without putting a stack of independent thought into it. Quade does have that “deer caught in the headlights” look downpat doesn’t he.

    It would be a massive waste of rugby talent if Quade crossed codes, Not as much of a waste as if he switched to AFL but still a massive waste…. Besides, if Quade did want to switch to League, now would not be the time to do it. The Broncos and QLD State of Origin teams won’t need a new 5/8 until 2013 at the earliest….

    • weiyong

      2011 will be the year, Reds to win S14.

  • Rocky Elboa

    Agree, while I am not sure he deserve the money, my main issue is the way this has all been played out. Cooper has to be sanctioning it otherwise this would have ended a lot quicker.

    During the end of season tour last year Genia was touted as the best halfback in the world, and now I wonder how he manages to hold his spot let alone play 80 mins. The point is thing change and form is not a constant, QC could easily have a bad game and then start to fall apart as doubt creeps in. I really hope this don’t happen and while I look forward to seeing Genia/Cooper play together for many years to come I don’t think we should get too excited too soon.

    In the end I am not worried as I don’t actually think QC is going anywhere, what concerns me more is the sense of entitlement, he has obviously been spending too much time with Gits

    • sammy

      Your point that one minute your hot property the next your struggling is about the best argument I can think of for Quade to try and cash in while he’s the man of the moment. A year ago barnes could have set his price, now he’s got to negotiate like the rest. Do your deals when your hot property – his manager knows this and despite this media shitstorm (which quade hasn’t entered into) this will all be settled and go away, and when it does, most likely he’ll have made quade (and himself) much better off

      If I did a few great things for my company over a 6 month period, maybe pulled in some extra business you can bet I would be straight up to the boss pressing for a cut of it (huge ‘if’ in that sentence). You gotta go for it to get it.

  • Skip

    league, as a sport, is going nowhere. The last active wallaby they scalped was Garrick Morgan in 1995 (so I read) & he was probably pissed to have been warming the bench so often behind Rod McCall and he ended up back in England playing rugby and earning more after 97.

    Mungo world cups are a farce, its players aren’t known anywhere outside northern england (which is a toilet) and NSW/QLD, they get paid squat compared to what a rugby player can earn in France, Britain or Japan in his retirement, nevermind a regular test wallaby’s salary. Short of a miracle, none of that will change, despite what the average hotel shitting, gang banging, pill popping neanderthal mungo Hack will tell you.

    Cooper might get a short term pay hike with the Eels but he’s never going to make what he can in a the next 8 – 10 years in S15, with 70 odd test match fees followed by 3 years in France getting paid a truck of Euros and then 2 more in Japan. He’s short changing himself probably 5 million AUD in today’s terms if he thinks being a club league player and getting perhaps 15 league test caps and maybe, just maybe, the same Origin caps, if he learns to tackle. He’s not an Oxford scholar, but surely, surely J’ON can explain this?

  • This is all such a fucking non story. The best the Eels could come up with was $500k/year. If he plays for the Wallabies, Quade makes $600k/year, plus all the reasoning Skip has laid out above.

    The most pathetic thing about this non-story is the way the mungos went along with the charade. Either they were clowns for playing along, or chumps for actually believing they have a shot.

    Second most pathetic was the way the media desperately tried to ramp up nothing.

    • Tangawizi

      You do have to wonder how much of a story this would have been if the Wallabies actually had a game on this weekend. Bit of a slow news week me thinks. Somebody play some rugby already!

    • D.

      I guess the media has to report on something rugby when there aren’t any games going on. You’re right that it’s a non story but it is a bit of a relief from the usual ‘We’re on the right track’, ‘We’re confident we’ll win the next one’, ‘There’s no excuse if we lose the next one’ stories. Or is it?

      Hurry up Saturday so we can watch a game and read about to what degree the AB’s cheated and another famous quote from “The Clown”

  • Ben

    I’m not so sure it’s a non story….the ARU has done this before plenty of times, and handled this situation terribly. after this super 14 season it was very clear what his open market value was, and the ARU putzed around, as they did with Peter hynes. they need to use the world cup as leverage and get players signed not have them dangling for months.

    There is a big silver lining and that with all this press, the AB test in Sydney will be watched by everyone.

    • Skip

      Good points. Lote’s extended flirt with the mungos prior to signing a huge deal ought to have been a lesson as should Rocky’s “handshake” to only spend a year at Leinster which I think resulted in a pay hike. Other unions never seem to have this issue, of star playing coming off contract season before a RWC. J’ON ought to stick a post-it on his monitor to remind him to stop this sort of thing.

  • hillston hog

    QC will not go the the Eels.
    a) its just a beat up by his manager and the media bandwagon
    b) he is not the Wallabies mesiah (yet) and has a long way to go to be the union god that a lot of you (Qlders) are making him out to be. The Reds had a great season….for the reds.
    c)He really wouldnt cut it in league. He would get bashed all day and sook off. His defence would be his undoing. Its improved granted – but a long way short of whats expected in league and I really dont believe he enjoys tackling big blokes (and there are not too many small ones in the NRL)

    • sammy

      quades defence might go better in a game where you’ve usually got three tacklers.

    • suckerforred

      I am a QLDer and don’t think he is a god – haven’t and he has a long way before I would slot him in above Barnes in a team.

      As I heard at some point put like this –

      “He (QC) used to cost us 2 points for each 1 he scored. Now he only costs us 1 for each 2 he scored.”

      Personally he needs to pull his head in, make up his mind wher he wants to be in 1, 5, and 10 years time and make some decisions that will get him there.

      Make the decisions now, sign the paper, and get on with playing which ever f*%^#*g game he wants to play. Just get the hell out of the media.

      And don’t let me start on how ARU (and QRU for that matter) handle contract negotiations. Cases in point – Barnes, Vickerman, and why did Rocky just spend a year in Ireland?

  • Bones

    The ARU should.just offer h an incentive based topup based on the nbernof test minutes played, with triple count for
    world cup
    games and a big payment if he plays more than 40 mins in the world cup final and we win. Call his bluff.

  • Robson

    I think QC (I don’t mean Queens Counsel either) is like a rabbit caught in the glare of a car’s headlights. This young man from a timber town in the North Island of NZ is immensely immature and he will be putty in the hands of his manager, even though he does know what his manager is up to and probably endorses it. Quade just does not know that he doesn’t know.

    I think sanity will prevail at some level sooner or later and I don’t see Quade going off to play League any time soon. If he does it will be a disaster of monumental proportions ……….. for Quade. At this early stage of his career League has nothing to offer him except a sack full of money and if that’s all he wants out of life he’s selling himself short by a country mile and he will live to regret it.

    But if he did go, how much of a loss would he be? Considering that this time a year ago I was one of quite a few people who didn’t rate him at all, I think we are pouring metal into the mould before the mould itself has been fully constucted. He has shown a rare gift for the unexpected and a surprising array of attacking gifts, but he’s not the full issue yet.

    To me he’s like the young painter who produced a superb painting to the director of a well known art gallery recently and wanted some top dollars for it. The director told him very emphatically that when he’s completed several hundred paintings equally as superb he would be worth a lot more, but for now there’s a long road of hard work ahead because one painting does not a great artist make.

    Nor does one season a great footballer make.

    • Jimmy

      Too true.

      We all have to keep in mind he’s a young bloke. I made plenty of bad decisions when I was his age, but unfortunately he makes his in full public view. Which brings me to the topic of his manager…

      If Quade had a bit more life experience under his belt he’d realise his manager was an fucking idiot. A good manager would use his experience and maturity to make up for the lack of it in a young client and guide him through his formative years as a professional sportsman. This bloke has obviously ignored his duty to make decisions in the best interest of his client and thought only about getting a bigger cut of Quade’s success. I know young Cooper sanctions all decisions but it’s almost as though his manager is exploiting his lack of experience.

      Hopefully QC will see this in time.

      • suckerforred

        Does he have the time to see it before he really throws his life away?

  • Dally M

    Agree, there is other talent there that could fill the void if he goes. It would just mean a shift from waiting for Quade to do something freaky, to perhaps some more set attacking plays. Would that be so bad?

    I think his manager has taken advantage of the NRL at a time when they have salary cap issues, detections to other codes etc. What better time to dangle the bait & try to play the ARU.

    Interesting to hear Bob Dwyer last night sayid thinks Kurtley’s best pos would be 13.

    • Pants

      Are we forgetting that one of the Wallabies biggest flaws in Bledisloe 2 was lack of flair and ideas in attack? If we have other talent that could fill the QC void, it sure wasn’t on display the last time I looked. It sure ain’t JOC either. Isn’t one of the reasons he was on the wing because he doesn’t have a passing game? He doesn’t have a kick receive game either. In fact what exactly does he have? Having him debut and score 3 basic tries against Italy probably cost us more in terms of finding a real quality fullback/wing cause it made him look better than he is.

    • Who?

      To me, Robbie Deans is reponsible for dramatically increasing Quade’s value. As you say, Dally M, if he left, we’d have to go to more attacking plays. How many of those have we seen in the last 3 years..? Each year our attack has become more and more blunt! This year, Quade’s play at 10 has created most of the opportunities, and it also allowed Gits to return to 12 and stay there long enough to remember how well he used to play there.

      So, given Robbie doesn’t believe in set plays (they are opposed to ‘play what’s in front of you!’), we really have something of a dearth of 10’s. Gits continues to be used at 10 in Quade’s absence, even though many have known for a long time that he’s not a 10. Barnes is next best. But he also like set plays (just not as much as Gits desperately needs them). Who’s next in line? I’d say Toomua. I don’t see O’Connor as a 10 – sure, he might slip into 1st receiver, but it’s not like the Force had much in attack this year. Ant Faingaa slipped a bit into 1st receiver at the Reds – should he play 10 for the Wallabies..? O’Connor’s like a younger version of the old Giteau – elusive, great acceleration. I see him as a centre, not a flyhalf.

      It’s just sad that, 12 months after Barnes tried to completely restructure the Reds, then left, we’re again looking at a Qld 10 talking about leaving. Even if I don’t think he’ll actually leave, and that he’s being (mis)led by his agent…

    • Andrew

      Are we talking about the bob dwyer that coached Anthony Herbert and Jason little? Kurtley beale at outside centre. You are shitting me.

      The toughest defensive channel in the game and you want to put Kurtley Beale there. How many tackles has he made for the WB’s this year? It can’t be more than five, maybe just.

  • James

    By “established in the Wallabies” due you mean past his best but unable to be dropped for sentimental reasons? No-one should be “established” like that. Should be pick the best side you have and he is probably one of the first 3 picked at the moment (Pocock and Genia also complete no-brianers for their position, poor AAC in the same league, but he never knows where).

    Also you seem to paint the ARU as hard done by in this situation. They were the ones trying to shaft him at the start of the year, and if they had their way he wouldnt have played until the case was done (a month ago – no S14…). The QRU fought his side and saved his bacon and he’s signed with them – subject to the ARU not bending him over.

    Now I will admit he’s manager is undoubtedly a plonker and it doesnt come across well. But if the ARU didnt want a negotiation before the trip to RSA, maybe just maybe they shouldve put a piece of paper in front of him the day after his court case was done. And if I was him I wouldnt be happy if it was less than Gits by a big 6 figure number.

    It seems to me that currently the ARU couldnt manage a piss-up in a brewery and that has allowed scallywags like Colreavy to make an arse out of players negotiations.

    And for my 2 cents, yes we need him. Our attack under Deans is utter shit, it;s only QCs unpredictable spurts of confuddling brilliance that give us any spark. If we had a decent coach who could bring the best out in all our talent we wouldnt be so reliant.

  • RedsHappy

    Oh oh. Here we go again. Rugby is ‘my world, my hobby, my passion’ and how dare an upstart like QC play his grubby hand like this in our game of superior values and elan? How dare he? He’s not proven. He thinks he’s above the game. He’s inferred he’s indispensable! This is outrageous, dirty sports capitalism soiling our dream of our game’s purity and unique insularity, above all that mungo riff-raff and tatty media blow-ups! Call his bluff, we have replacements. JO’C, commeth the hour you good young thing!

    Sorry Lance, that world you want for this sport is gone in Australia. It’s over. It’s passed. We need to renovate this house fast or in 3 years even the S15 here will be in trouble. The game is in gate attendance and income decline, the QRU is de facto bankrupt, the ARU is missing its targets and is slowly becoming financially strained, the NSW RU is in loss, the last league SOI game in Sydney at ANZ Stadium sold around 18,000 more tickets than those sold to the England rugby Test there, where only 48,000 turned up against the supposed old foe.

    The game needs players like QC, big time. It _economically_ needs crowd pulling dazzlers that are code magnets for kids and the everyday fans (virtually none of whom, with respect, read GAGR, they just want wins and exciting rugby). It doesn’t just need them, it has to have them, just as league and the AFL does. The implied idea that we have adequate stocks of these type of income-enhancing and media-grabbing players is ridiculous. We need 2-3 more, not one less. QC and Genia drove the desperately needed massive $/gate income uplift to the Reds this year – do we seriously think a lesser duo would have done the same thing? Come on. If the QRU and QLD top rugby has sunk further in 2010, the game in Australia would have been imperilled. It’s 40% of the whole code here!

    All QC has done is work smart to establish his market clearing price in a world where he knows he could be badly injured any time, he can’t predict his maximum earning window with any certainty, and he sees the likes of the failing, non-playmaking, immovable icon Giteau earning close to $1m pa (which doesn’t seem to worry you at all, remarkably). The ARU have clearly blundered in their usual complacency and over-cocky confidence (typical of rugby elites in Australia), and let this whole situation brew up and get out of hand. They did something similar with Vickerman 2 years ago.

    QC never said or inferred he was indispensable. He’s just played his cards, as would any _equivalent_ player have done in today’s brand of sports capitalism.

    As Wayne Smith has said today, if QC is lost (whatever your lack of interest in that risk), if he goes to league or falls out with the ARU, we could well see a ‘tipping point’ of multiple resentments, problems and issues for the code come to the surface, just as they did when Barnes left for NSW.

    And the notion that JO’C is a credible, immediate ‘replacement’ for Cooper…Lance, was this tongue in cheek? You can’t be serious: (a) he has no settled place in the team (b) his play in the last year has been OK, but not game-changing or in any sense indispensable at Test level (and certainly btw not crowd-pulling) (c) he’s got bad habits of ego-centric play and typically misjudges when to precisely hold, run, pass. Maybe in 2 years, not today.

    • sammy

      Thanks redshappy…saved me writing it.

      Lance, this isn’t one for the archive.

    • Robson

      Reds Happy, I can agree with a lot of what you have said here, but if Quade is comparing himself to the “icon” Matt Giteau he should probably remember that Gits didn’t get what he is earning now after slightly less than one season as a Wallaby. I admit that what Gits earns now sticks in the throat a bit when his current form (well his form since leaving the Force) is considered. I also think that his manager is manipulating him and Quade is not actually calling the shots.

      • RedsHappy

        Robson, points taken. But I also think that – like it or not – the market for very talented dazzlers has changed since the immovable icon cut his deal with his then track-record. EU salaries for top players – especially in France – have rocketed up, and, right now, league here is desperate for one or two more stars to put the Storm fiasco behind them and show their fans their can get the likes of Gasnier back and maybe pick up a QC, etc. It’s always about prevailing market context in these star player deals.

        Plus let’s no forget – a lot was not ever enough for Giteau – he went west for a further huge sponsor top up deal (that ultimately went sour and not much later he was back east). Was this better in attitude than QC’s current ploys?

        Re QC’s manager – you may well be right. QC is but 22. But these types of managers are the norm today, not the exception. Just look at the Folau scenario, how that played out. Similar with Hunt. (Btw, compared to say the English Premier League, we are like little babes in the woods here with these processes, it’s truly incredible what goes on there as players are shifted around the top EU teams for, often, $70m ++ on transfer.)

        Finally, I need hardly tell you of the obvious ferment inside Wallaby land. Do we not think that the smarter, best players would not be becoming disenchanted with the whole coaching mediocrity and lack of attention to rigorous selection quality and skills detail? Why would we care more about all this than the best players on the inside who stand to lose – in many senses – from today’s Wallabies train wreck? We often forget this aspect of the whole situation, the outlook for the Wallabies is hardly gold-plated.

    • Lance Free


      Is my post a little ‘tongue in cheek’? Well, probably a bit…

      Do I think QC will defect to league? Nup.

      Is the whole QC switching thing a media beatup? Yup.

      Have I jumped on the bandwagon? Yup.

      Do I think JO’C would be a candidate for five eighth?

      You bet I do. I’ve seen him play at five eighth for school and for the Force. However, I don’t mean that he could just take over as our test No 10 straight away. He’d need time to develop but to me he is a more than viable option.

  • RockyElboa

    Personally I believe this whole story is crap because if a rugby player if wants to make money you go to Japan or Europe. 850K for QC is nothing compared to what a French, English or Japanese club would be willing to pay

  • People are again forgetting in the modern game there’s two elements to the negotiations:

    1) Playing ability
    2) Image rights

    Lance is right in saying QC probably hasn’t cemented his position yet, and we may have some substitutes, but as redshappy states above, QC is a crowdpuller. He gets bums on seats. He’s the reason why kids will take the game up. He’s the reason why people want to watch the Reds vs Lions. That’s where his value is at the moment.

    I’d like to see two separate contracts – one contract based on playing ability (match payments) and another contract (possibly yearly) for use of image, with clauses in there voiding the contract with any clownish behaviour.

  • Lee Enfield

    I think call his bluff, this shit is dragging on too long. Tell him he has until the plane leaves on Friday to have a decision, no decision no trip to South Africa. The Wallabies don’t need Cooper, they just don’t need Giteau at 10, Barnes and Beale could easily fill Cooper’s spot, just without the X factor, although Beale coul bring a some X factor. The Reds will miss him if he goes, and without him have no chance of making the finals next year, his combination with Genia is too important to them.

    • Toadman

      Bingo Lee, I would tell him he has until tomorrow and if not forthcoming send him back to Waikato. I am a massive Reds supporter but will not be held to ransom from this buffoon. This brinkmanship from him should be met squarely and firmly. If he is unsure about Union then drop him like a bad habit

  • RedsNut

    Then there’s also Barnes who did a pretty good job for the Reds – while he was there.

  • Larkhage

    What do you mean the next Dan Carter? If he plays to his full potential he’d be the next Stephen Larkham

    • Who?

      Berrick plays more like Larkham than Quade does. Berrick, at the top of his game, has something of Bernie in the way he threatens the line when he passes, and he can occasionally ghost through off a big dummy like Larkham. Berrick is better with a planned backline – Larkham always played under coaches with backline plays (Macqueen (where the players wrote the plays), Jones, Connolly, Nuci) and ran the plays to perfection. Quade reminds me much more of Carlos (obviously!), or even Ella. Less predictable, more playmaking on the fly, less need for structure (because he can create it), great support play.

      • Larkhage

        No way berrick plays more like larkham than quade. quade is such a better playmaker and runner than berrick. looking over the past super 14 games, quade has made larkham-like playmake kicks and kicks for touch. with the help of the new star will genia, Australia will have the potential to have the old partnership larkham and gregan had. berrick, for what i am sure, has no partnership with the current scrumhalf, and i have noticed at times when his team team is at advantage, he just makes some of the worst decisions when he gets the ball.
        Now your saying that berrick is ‘larkham-like’, i’m sure that he plays like larkham. But i’m saying that quade, if he plays to his full potential, will be the next stephen larkham for australia, not saying that he plays like larkham, though he does, I’m just saying that quade is the best flyhalf for australia.

        • Who?

          Yep – that’s what I meant – that Berrick’s style is more Larkham-like than Quade’s. I definitely agree that Quade is the best choice, and that with Genia we have a combination that has the potential to serve Australia at the highest level for a long time. :-)

  • Garry

    From what we have seen from the WB’s recent outings is that we are in desperate need of a playmaker with the skills to organise our backline to get the best out them. Does this sound like QC?

    He was great at the reds, with dynamic straight power runners running off each hip, but how will he go with another ‘dancer’ (/crab-ber) Gits running at next receiver (assuming he will be picked)?

    Could be good if he cut’s Gits out, but he’ll get the shits if it happens too often.

    PS. Dingo must be pleased that the talk has shifted from the team’s performance (read- Dingo’s performance), to player contract. A dummy runner foil? Finally we see something from the Dingo playbook. Hooray!

  • Mark

    Well said RedsHappy. I’ve seen enough of Cooper to believe that he is going to be pretty critical to the Wallabies results for a number of years. The ‘Quade can go get stuffed’ attitude is stupid. The game in Australia needs the Reds and Wallabies winning, it needs atractive test matches and it needs marketable stars. QC is a pretty important element of all of the above for the ARU. Anyone who has watched rugby for the past 12 months knows the potential of this bloke so maybe the ARU should pay him what he is worth now and do the deal rather than risk loosing one of their biggest talents and most marketable players to league to save a couple of hundred grand. He has the potential to be the bloke who takes us from 1 tri-nations win each year to maybe a trophy. If they loose him I suspect they will soon start to see at the gate what he was worth.

  • vidiot

    So JOC to 10, QC to MSY?

    Why not, the trinations is shot for the wallabies and the games are on either too late or too early in SA.

    I have a feeling that it might cost a bit though when the experiment fails though.

  • bones

    Re the selection of the squad, it is interesting to note that Deans did not replace Hodgson with another backrower, This has to mean one of McCalman or Higgers is at least on the bench on Sat week. As there is no replacement 7 picked, this has also to mean that Deans sees Brown as his back up 7. I am glad to see this as I think he should be picked as the back up 7 to Pocock in the 2011 WC squad, and not seen any more as an 8 or a 6 where he is just too small. Perhaps finally Deans has given up on Brown as the 8.

    I would like to see Higgers start against the Boks at 6, and do a half game with McCalman. Elsom at 8, Brown rested.

    And I hope to God that Simmons gets the start ahead of Mumm, who the Boks I am sure view as a Currie Cup level lock.

  • Bangkokwobbly

    Has anyone else noticed the inconsistency of recent GAGR posts….
    Apparently we are struggling/not top tier/need player changes/coaching changes/lack any penetration etc etc etc etc
    Yet we can afford to lose QC and we have adequate back-up????
    The lack of adequate back up became glaringly obvious during our last match when we failed to make even half a break after literally hundreds of phases of possession….I’m sure JOC internationally untested at five eighth would have made matters worse.
    We mightn’t like it but with RWC coming Quade does hold the cards…..ARU will call his bluff at its peril…..
    I know he would be a hit in league…did you see some of those cut out flick passes this season. Both his handwork and footwork are the real deal….
    pity he seems like a bit of a nob……couldn’t be worse than Thurston…what a petulant nob that bloke is….what is it with talented playmaker nobs……

    • Lance Free

      No we can’t afford to lose him and we don’t have adequate backup and we are struggling. But that’s not the point. If he was to go (in reality it won’t happen) he would be replaced in due course, like they all are, and we’d get on with it. That’s not to say he isn’t going to be a ‘special’ player.

      I really do think JO’C could be an option. Not to throw him in the deep end as he clearly wouldn’t be up to it today, but for Deans to slowly introduce him into the position – he looks to me like he has the latent talent for the job.

      • RedsHappy

        Well Lance, of course ‘he’d be replaced'; no one suggested rugby in Australia would put a team on the field with no #10 if QC left!

        The whole point and legitimate debate here is surely this: what are the many consequences of QC leaving Australian rugby for league, as rugby stands in Australia in 2010, and is there a good, rational case for fighting hard to keep QC?

        What I find fascinating is that we compose articles and posts and so forth effectively having a go at QC in subtle (and not so subtle) ways, and yet the elite body, the ARU, gets off scott free here, as if it’s blameless in all this and has acted perfectly. It clearly has not.

        IMO, the elites of Australian rugby – ARU and top coaches – have a lot to answer for in terms of where rugby is today and where the Wallabies are today. Our bias often seems to be: those bloody players! But, actually, it’s the men in suits and blazers that are entrusted with the destiny of our code, and equal focus should be placed upon the quality of their judgements and delivered outcomes.

        • Lance Free

          Good point RH. The ARU isn’t blameless in some of these things. However, in this case their hands were tied to some extent due to the criminal charges against Cooper that were not finalised until just recently – which has probably worked out in his favour WRT contract terms.

          Makes for something interesting to write about though, especially this week when we’ll all heartily sick of this election crap…

      • suckerforred

        But is the not fact that we have ‘appeared’ to have missed QC in the last few games a result of perhaps poor position selection? (Lets face it Gits should never play 10. Love the boy dearly but a 10 he aint.)

        Also I just feel that the reason QC looks so good is the maturity and forethought of the players playing around him – aka Genia. They have played together for a while now and have learn’t to read each other’s plays brillently. Remember, rugby is a team sport and all members of the team need to play to each other’s abilities.

        Lets move onto something else.

    • Totally off topic, but Bangkokwobbly, are you based in Bangkok?? If so, my rugby team the Southerners is looking for players for an upcoming Thursday night league – keen?

      If you want to get involved, contact Darrel!

      • Lance Free

        Scrumblue – I used to live in Penang and managed the RAAF Butterworth rugby team there. I think we played you guys in a tournament in Phuket in the late 90’s? It also involved a team from Abu Dhabi from memory. Mainly ex-pats. Great time had by all….

        • We’re still wandering around Asia having a cracking time – yet to tour to Penang though!

      • Bangkokwobbly

        Thanks for the offer Scrumblue.
        As the name says I am based in Bangkok. I know a few blokes from the Bangkok Bangers club who have also tried recruiting.
        I used to play at a good level but unfortunately I can do so no longer for medical reasons. 3 consecutive season-enders in younger days resulting in a knee reconstruction, a shoulder reconstruction and a radial plating, followed by too much squash, means I just have to put up with being a grumpy, frustrated, and arthritic armchair critic…

        • No worries mate – if you’re interested, you should pop down and see the match in a few weeks against the Bangers down at RBSC…they’re a handy side, hopefully we can get on top of them again. A few beers after as well. Emotions will be running high.

  • smartfromthetightfive

    if I had faith that australia had another “world class” no.10 I say quade can pack he bags and leave to the other law breakers in league.

    as for our best 15 come pretoria we need to drop brown and mumm and bring in higgers and simmo and personally i think ant faingaa will hold his own at 13 and that allows ashley-cooper to return to 15 and counter attack that high ball that will no doubt come all day

  • Noice

    I think it was at Noddy’s testimonial that Ella and co announced the game was going professional. I remember feeling a little down about it as we lost something. When it became professional, the game became a career for the guys who played it. In the rest of the the professional world, sometimes someone from your firm goes and works for the opposition – for more dollars. Same here. The word loyalty gets bandied around a hell of a lot but loyalty seems a one way street. I am not hearing any discussion of the ARU’s loyalty to the players who were displaced by Rogers, Sailor, Tuqiri and co.
    The new jerseys are cute, the super stadiums serve copious quantities of bad food and worse beer and the Foxtel camera crew cut and edit beautifully.
    BUT if the whole thing folded financially, I am pretty sure my kids and I would enjoy going back to Ballymore and drinking poorly poured beers (well not the kids) and watching the top amateur players from the Queensland Clubs line up against the top amateur players from the NSW clubs, now and then combining for the odd international. And then there is the ABC coverage!

  • Reddy!

    Wow what a dumb article. G&GR and other media sources keep telling me that Australia has no depth, and this is the reason why the Wallabies have not been performing; the coaching staff are not at fault apparently.

    Despite this, I am now told that Quade Cooper can piss off, we don’t need him – never have. James O’Connor can easily fill his shoes – a player who has proved even less than Quade Cooper at international and Super 14 level. The same player who signed a gigantic contract last year all because he is the pretty boy of Australian rugby. I am sure James O’Connor’s contract is worth more than Quade Coopers current, or even future contract. What a joke!

    As fans of the Wallabies we should be 100% behind Quade to make the right decision – telling him to piss off is the wrong message as he is the most important player in Australian rugby.

    • Batmann

      Seriously? The most important player in Australian rugby? I think there are a few players who are ahead of him there, Pocock for instance, and wasn’t Giteau supposedly the messiah a few years ago too. How has that worked out for us?

      It’s precisely why the ARU don’t just hand out the $’s now. They give them incentive based deals with very generous match payments (that shouldn’t be paid if they bloody lose) & tell them to back themselves.

  • Garry

    What happens if Cooper gets injured….and it’s likely he will. As well as the regular likelihood of injuries, if he performs as well as we all hope, the opposition sides will start to target him in the hope of taking him out. And the way he plays at the game line, he’s ready for plucking by some eager meat axe.

    So it’s likely that the WB’s will need a backup or two. But Dingo won’t do that. He’ll ride this golden pony till it runs out.

    Building depth….yeah right?

  • Robson

    There seems to be four clearly articulated arguements in this topic.

    1. Quade is too valuable to lose because of the high entertainment value he offers. The arguement is put in tangent with the increasingly decreasing interest being taken by the wider population in rugby and the state of the code generally and the Wallabies in particular.

    2. Quade is too valuable to lose because he offers something special at the moment to the Wallabies and can’t easily be replaced.

    3. The threat of Quade going to League is a non issue and will soon blow over.

    4. Quade isn’t the real deal yet and can go jump as there is an adequate replacement in James O’Connor anyway.

    Arguements No. 1 & 2, are certainly very persuasive and valid, especially since there are enough problems to address in Camp Wallabies without the prospect of Quade jumping ship.

    Is James O’Connor a legitimate replacement though? I’m with Lance on this one. I think he is. But the timing just isn’t right so it’s not really a viable option at this moment. Having said that, the cupboard is bare and Kurtley is not the answer. The closest option is Berrick. Well he might be okay but he doesn’t bring the same creativity to the table as Quade does.

    My vote, however, goes to item 3. In saying that I’m not also saying that the ARU should tell Quade to go jump. I think they should offer him a bit more. RedsHappy is right, Quade’s manager is just doing what all managers do these days. But there is one other aspect to this and one which I’m pretty sure that John O’Neil is very familiar with. The process of bargaining is one which is usually settled in the middle. No one party gets exactly what they want and Quade’s manager will realise this and would be a fool to rob his client of so much else to capitulate to League for a sum which will have a definite ceiling on it for a few years yet.

    I think the ARU will settle somewhere in the middle and I think Quade will accept it.

  • g man

    Does anyone know if cooper vuna is going to be eligable for the wallabies when he leaves leauges Newcastle Knights fo Melbourne rebels next year. He would definatley add bulk to the the backs. him and diggers would be very entertaining wingers with there hard running games. as i write this post he has just scored his 4th try tonight, for the knights.

    Quade Cooper is an amazing talent, yet he is still not a consistant flyhalf, often he makes silly decisions that can be very costly. I am no huge fan of matt geitu but to say after a hand full of games starting in 10 that he should get what gits salary is seriously pathetic. Gits has earned his salary over the past few years. I have no doubt that he could be one of the best 10 to ever play the game, but its going to take more then 16 test before you can put yourself in the rugby superstar catagory. Quade you need to mature as a rugby player more and stop acting like a spolit brat.

    Last thing i dont think people should blame the NRL for trying to scoop up young talent from our game. as we have tryed to get Falou Inglis, two of leauges biggest name to sign.

  • youngun

    its all a contract boosting stunt. the wallabies may not need him but australian rugby sure does. He is one 15th of a revival of queensland rugby. on your bike JOC pat mccabe is one to keep an eye on. One memorable moment from the brumbies failed super 14 campaign. slippery counterattacks and finds two huge south african forwards in his way. They thought he would step. He didnt instead running straight over the top of them with them lying on the ground dazed and pat on top ball already in the next phase. Someone who can run straight! and is reliable as hell up the back. next aac i believe

  • mixa

    QC is trying to blackmail union into giving him more money to stay, I reckon piss him off then. I wouldnt even count him as one of the best players, coz passion for the game is what makes a legend in union, not money… Put him up against Warriors and watch him fade. When you bite the hand that feeds you, you end up tasting blood. Kurtley Beale or JOC would be better in his position coz they’re out there with loyalty to the wallabies. I say let QC go to league, he certainly wont get away with being a douche off field, the media will watch him 24/7 and he will eventually succumb to the Douche League Syndrome club where Matty and Andrew Johns are the presidents… I s’pose its ironic that he wants to join eels though coz they are kinda like SNAKES!…….

  • Blinky Bill from Bellingen

    Sadly for QC, and I say this with some reservations, there are a number of Wallaby fans that would not be all that upset to see him get hammered on the field.

    He just comes across as an absolute dumb arse grubby little tosser, and for the life of me I can’t for the life of me figure out why the old heads in the Wallabies haven’t sorted him out ages ago.

    Is the Wallaby leadership group that weak?

  • mudskipper

    JOC isn’t that good gentlemen… he is a ARU publicity vehicle fro gen y… he still hasn’t cemented a real spot on the starting team… yet.. now he is on the wing but he is too slow for that position and defense is poor… JOC is a few seasons away from being a real starting Wallaby… He has talent but doesn’t fit any starting specialist position yet… god help the Wallabies… Deans has his hands tied… The Wallabies need some larger faster backs and wingers with pace, JOC offers neither…

All Blacks

Roscoe Tims (aka @LanceFree): A nasty, opinionated little man whose views are indeed narrow with a capital 'N'. Favourite Sport: mungo bashing. Does he ever have anything positive to say?

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