Cooper to renew Reds contract - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cooper to renew Reds contract

By Jim Morton 13/06/2010 01:50:47 PM Comments (0)

New Wallabies maestro Quade Cooper has pledged his Super rugby future to Queensland after proving he has the toughness required at Test level to compliment his extravagant talent.

Cooper on Sunday revealed he'd turned down a massive offer from the Western Force to stay with the rising Reds after helping propel the traditional battlers from second last to fifth in the 2010 Super 14.

The announcement came in the after-glow of a superb two-try performance which won him the man-of-the-match award in Australia's 27-17 victory over England at Subiaco Oval.

He had made the decision before Saturday night's Cook Cup Test, his first big assignment as an international five-eighth, and the weight off Cooper's shoulders showed.

The 22-year-old confounded the English defence with his elusive ball-running and skilful passing game, while also displaying an improved maturity in game management.

Cooper's front-line tackling in a wonderful Wallabies defensive effort also drew high praise from coach Robbie Deans.

"Quade's Quade, he's unique - very gifted, very talented, that's evident, but he's starting to build a bit of toughness as well," Deans said.

"Test match rugby is about toughness, it's not about talent."

Cooper has now proven himself to be Australia's playmaker just seven months after his career was under a dark cloud following a burglary charge.

"He's been through an experience off the field which has obviously hardened his resolve and he's really valued what he's got and enjoying it as a result," Deans said.

The Australian Super 14 player of the year, Cooper said the support of the Queensland Rugby Union (QRU), family and teammates had ensured Brisbane was the best place for him to continue his provincial rugby.

"Timing is everything" he said. "The support the QRU has given me and my family and with the support networks I've got at Queensland, it would have been hard to walk away from them."

In a massive relief to Queensland coach Ewen McKenzie, he said Cooper's re-signing was "symbolic" of the Reds rise in 2010 and praised many in the QRU for ensuring the five-eighth remained at Ballymore.

"He's a guy in hot demand and we saw in the Test match last night that he's at the peak of his powers at the moment," McKenzie said.

"It gives us continuity for the future, and in the past we have lost a lot of talent.

"Quade was a very popular target and for us to keep him is a great effort by all involved."

The stark contrast between Australia and England's creativity and willingness to attack was shown by the difference between Cooper and opposite number Toby Flood.

Whereas Cooper continually threatened by taking the ball to the line and picking out the best runners with crisp passes, in the 40th minute Flood showed England's lack of imagination by deliberately kicking the ball out on the full on half-way to signal halftime instead of attacking.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

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