Cooper mentor Horan backs rugby - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cooper mentor Horan backs rugby

By Jim Morton and David Beniuk 19/08/2010 06:15:41 PM Comments (0)

Quade Cooper's mentor, Wallabies great Tim Horan, is convinced the gifted playmaker will stick with rugby to show his class at next year's World Cup.

Despite massive interest from the NRL, Horan has indicated Cooper is poised to stay in the 15-man code.

The in-demand flyhalf isn't expected to re-sign with the Australian Rugby Union before flying out for South Africa on Friday but it's understood he's moved closer to agreeing to a new deal.

Cooper and his manager, Richard Colreavy, met with ARU officials on Wednesday afternoon and important progress was made between the parties.

The Australian Super 14 player of 2010, who is in the sights of NRL clubs Parramatta and Newcastle, could look to sign a one-year ARU deal which would keep him in a strong bargaining position for beyond the 2011 World Cup.

ARU boss John O'Neill will travel with the Wallabies on their two-match tour to play the Springboks and will no doubt speak with the hot property in a bid to lock him away.

Coach Robbie Deans admitted on Thursday the two weeks in the Republic would benefit the ARU's hopes of keeping Cooper.

"Whether it's going to be resolved or not (before Friday), it would appear that that may be unlikely but I guess, to that end, going to South Africa is probably a point of advantage for us," Deans said.

"It hasn't been a distraction to the group but obviously they're aware of it ... (it has been) the source of a lot of discussion, the source of a lot of humour and, probably it would be fair to say, it's been the source of a bit of angst as well."

A consultant to Queensland rugby, Horan has acted as a mentor for Cooper for the past three seasons and wants to see him remain in union as much as anyone.

The former 80-Test centre has been speaking with the 22-year-old since news broke he met with Eels officials last week and holds little concern Cooper will walk out on the code.

"There will be a solution moving forward for Australian rugby and Queensland rugby," Horan told AAP.

"He's got a lot to prove in the game and has got a desire to reach his potential.

"He's very important to Queensland and Australian rugby and he wants to stay in the game."

Cooper played both league and union until he was 17 before starting his up-and-down career with the Queensland Reds.

The 16-Test back is interested in becoming a dual international but has also talked of his ambition to first scale great heights in rugby.

His league interest has been seen as a bargaining tool by many in both codes, prompting criticism of Cooper and his agent, as well as the ARU's sluggishness in sealing his future.

Former Wallabies hooker Brendan Cannon said Cooper was in a "unique situation" after his career was endangered by a burglary charge and traffic offences.

"It makes Quade look like a greedy guy in a situation where he doesn't have to do this," Cannon said on Fox Sports' Rugby Club.

"He only weeks ago finished the second of two court cases that he had hanging over his head.

"The ARU and the QRU have both stood by him and I think for one year Quade owes his employers, both the ARU and QRU, to repay the faith."

The coach of Australia's 1991 World Cup-winning team, Bob Dwyer, said it was clear the Wallabies needed Cooper calling the shots at No.10 to have a chance of lifting the Webb Ellis Cup in New Zealand next year.

Dwyer said Australia's attack failed to function with Matt Giteau taking the suspended Cooper's place in back-to-back losses to the All Blacks.

"You would have to say without a shadow of a doubt that Matt Giteau is a good player but you would also say without a shadow of a doubt that he is not playing well," he said.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

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