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Wallabies boss Cheika thinks Quade Cooper may turn his back on Toulon

The Champions Cup holders announced a deal for the Australian out-half in April.

FRESH ON THE heels of a French report that Paul O’Connell’s move to Toulon remains in doubt, RCT president Mourad Boudjellal may have to face losing another of the star players he believed would be joining the club next season.

Quade Cooper Toulon expect Quade Cooper to be wearing their 10 shirt next season, but Michael Cheika is not so sure. Source: Colm O'Neill/INPHO

Toulon announced the signing of Queensland Reds out-half Quade Cooper on a two-year deal back in April, but Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has revealed to Fox Sports that he is hopeful the exceptionally skillful playmaker will stay on in Australia after this year’s World Cup.

Cooper’s deal with Toulon was scheduled to begin after the global tournament, according to the French club, but the Reds have repeatedly insisted that the deal for 27-year-old is not as concrete as Boudjellal has stated.

The latest comments from Cheika, who led Leinster to Heineken Cup glory in 2009, suggest that Cooper is very much caught in two minds about fulfilling any agreement with Toulon.

“The way he is investing in what we are doing down there and his input into the program and what is going on, you’d like to think he is staying for quite a while because that’s definitely the feel he has given off,” Cheika told Fox Sports after a recent Wallabies World Cup preparation meeting.

“His commitment and investment in that project, what he’s giving and his involvement there and his eagerness to be involved, but it is still a decision that is up to him and his management. They are taking their time to make the right one and I don’t have a problem with that.

“I’m very keen for him to stay.”

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Toulon remain confident that Cooper will honour his agreement and it is thought the Champions Cup holders would be due a lucrative payment if the player and his agent, Khoder Nasser, who also represents Sonny Bill Williams, do decide on a turnaround.

“The French contracts are complicated pieces of paper, I can assure you from being over there,” Cheika told Fox Sports in that regard.

“We’re really comfortable around where we’re at with the offer, and we think it’s fair, it’s good, and I think Quade’s just taking time to make the right decision. His manager has been very upfront with us the whole time in the whole process, it’s been a fair discussion.”

As with the O’Connell situation, this is one to follow closely. Toulon fans getting excited by the prospect of Cooper playing behind a pack led by the current Ireland captain will certainly be doing so.

Australian rugby has already lost the likes of Will Genia, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Sekope Kepu, James Horwill and Nic White to European clubs on post-World Cup deals.

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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