Quade Cooper leaving rugby?

Quade Cooper may have played his last test for the Wallabies. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Quade Cooper may have played his last test for the Wallabies. Photo / Mark Mitchell

The Australian player New Zealand rugby fans love to hate could be exiting the game.

Quade Cooper looks unlikely to re-sign with the Australian Rugby Union with French rugby or the NRL as possible destinations, Australian media are reporting.

Cooper has played 38 tests for Australia since making his debut against Italy in 2008 but a public spat with Wallabies coach Robbie Deans might mean he's played his last test.

The 24-year-old posted a string of cutting remarks aimed at Deans on his Twitter account at the weekend.

Fresh from saying the Wallabies would continue to lose fans and Bledisloe Cup tests if they played to a boring, conservative style, Cooper tweeted about problems behind the scenes, before removing two posts.

"Might thoughts on rugby now is who's playing ... my thoughts on other codes how the f - do we get tickets !!" one deleted post read.

"I love rugby but there's s - t going on behind and above the players the effects the whole organisation! Happens at the reds few years back," said another, referring to problems at the Queensland Rugby Union before an administrative and coaching cleanout that resulted in a reversal of fortunes.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Cooper will appear on a rugby show Thursday night to "further outline his complaints".

His series of criticisms come after Deans admitted he was close to dragging his No 10 in the 23-19 win over Argentina this month.

The Tokoroa-born first five-eighth was ruled out of the remaining Rugby Championship matches following the win over the Pumas after scans revealed a small chip of articular cartilage in his right knee.

While the rest of his team prepare for a crucial test against the Springboks this week, all the talk in Australian rugby circles is Cooper's future in the game with former coach Eddie Jones telling the Sydney Morning Herald "...it's time for him to go and start something new".

Cooper currently has a three-year contract with the Reds, which has yet to be ratified as his ARU component hasn't been finalised, leading to concerns he will be lost to rugby.

His manager, Khoder Nasser, is in lengthy negotiations with the Australian union but Cooper said he wasn't stressed about the situation.

"There's no worries from my side," he said last week. "That's all Khoder's job to look after that.

"I've agreed to stay with the Reds for three years and I love playing with the Reds.

"If [there's no ARU agreement] then I'll just concentrate on getting my body right for the next time I have to play," he said.

Cooper revealed he would spend some time in Japan in the coming weeks with close mate Sonny Bill Williams, who is set to line up for the Sydney Roosters next season.

That got the rumour mill spinning even more with the Daily Telegraph suggesting Cooper could join the former All Black at the Roosters.

If he does leave the game it won't be just the fans who will miss the playmaker, who often received an anthem of boos every time he stepped on New Zealand soil.

The All Blacks might also miss his presence with Cooper winning just two of his six appearances against New Zealand including a miserly haul of just three points in his last two tests.


- nzherald.co.nz/AAP

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