Quade Cooper: Why he chose club over country
REACTION: Mercurial Wallaby utility back Quade Cooper has opened up on why he opted to play club rugby in Japan, rather than tour with Australia in Europe.
Cooper, who caused a stir when the news broke on Thursday, took to social media to explain his decision.
His shock withdrawal from the Wallabies came despite his outstanding recent form in the Rugby Championship.
Wallaby coach Dave Rennie confirmed that Cooper had withdrawn from the team’s remaining Tests – against Scotland, England and Wales – to remain with his club Kintetsu in Japan.
Cooper joined Samu Kerevi and Sean McMahon in withdrawing in a move that has left Rugby Australia fuming.
Australia beat the World Champion Springboks twice during the Rugby Championship and a revived Cooper played a major role in their success after returning to the camp four years after his last outing in the green and gold.
An emotional Quade Cooper wrote: “My growth as a man is being able to admit I’m hurt. It hurts that I won’t be on tour to Europe with my teammates, especially after experiencing so much growth and overcoming challenges each week.
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I wouldn’t have been able to admit being hurt in the past so this was hard for me to do but feels great to be able to be honest and vulnerable. ❤️🙏🏽🌱 pic.twitter.com/N4jH3f6Bkw
— Quade Cooper (@QuadeCooper) October 28, 2021
“I’m hurt that I couldn’t please everyone and keep both my employer and country happy. But although I am hurting now, the happiness I feel from my journey to this point far outweighs the hurt.
“I am so thankful to everyone, from my club Kintetsu Liners for allowing me to play for Australia again to Renz and the Wallabies staff for inviting me into what proved to be an incredible atmosphere and for all your efforts the past few months but most of all to my teammates and brothers.
“We challenge each other to be better each day and as a result, we saw enormous growth as both men and as athletes. Thank you for making the last few months possible.
“This journey has no finish line and my efforts to continue to walk this path will not change. What’s meant to be will be.”
Wallabies boss Rennie accepted that Cooper was ‘torn’ over the decision, saying at a press conference earlier that: “He’s torn. He wants to be here, he wants to be a Wallaby, but he feels loyalty to his club. In the end he’s made a decision that he feels is the right one.
“We want guys who are desperate to be Wallabies. I know Quade says he is, but he’s torn. If he had the blessing of the club he would come.”
Kurtley Beale, Rory Arnold, Tolu Latu and Will Skelton will arrive at Australia’s camp in Brighton from their French clubs on Monday ahead of the year-end opener at Murrayfield on November 7.
Sources: AAP, PA & RugbyPass