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Dublin: 9°C Thursday 22 October 2020

Quade Cooper turns attention to playing Fifa with Jarryd Hayne after quitting Toulon

Both men had hoped to be playing sevens at the Olympics.

Quade Cooper in action for Toulon.
Quade Cooper in action for Toulon.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

AUSTRALIAN PLAYMAKER QUADE Cooper is expected to return to Super Rugby after he quit French giants Toulon just 12 months into his deal.

The flamboyant fly-half is expected to return to the Reds, where he won a Super Rugby title in 2011, although the Melbourne-based Rebels are also reportedly interested in the 28-year-old.

Cooper, who has played 58 times for the Wallabies, struggled to secure a starting spot and failed to settle at Toulon, although it could be argued that wasn’t helped by his unsuccessful attempt to make Australia’s sevens team for the Rio Olympics.

Cooper came in for particular criticism in France, even from outspoken Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal, who once compared switching from Cooper to Jonny Wilkinson as going from “foie gras to pate”.

However, he is now expected to return to Super Rugby, meaning he could yet feature for the Wallabies in the Rugby Championship next month.

Australia coach Michael Cheika had publicly called for Cooper to return as the Wallabies look to defend their title and the former Leinster boss has had his wish granted.

Cooper announced his departure from the club this afternoon and is already looking forward to taking on fellow code-hopper Jarryd Hayne in a game of Fifa.

Hayne, one the best rugby league players in the world before he tried his hand in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers, was hoping to play sevens for Fiji in Rio but it was announced earlier this week that he failed to make the squad.

The rugby code that Hayne opts for is a hot topic of debate Down Under at the moment. And Cooper couldn’t help but stir the pot.

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Alan Waldron

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