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Saturday 4 February 2023 Dublin: 9°C
Paul Kane/Getty Images) Wallabies coach Robbie Deans talks with Quade Cooper.
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Wallabies boss Deans remains hopeful on Quade Cooper future
Australian rugby’s poster boy is yet to formally reject a contract and is tipped to ply his trade elsewhere next season. Isn’t Cooper an Irish name?

WALLABIES COACH Robbie Deans says he hopes Quade Cooper stays in the code amid reports he is planning to walk away from Australian rugby.

Cooper is yet to formally reject an incentive-based contract from the Australian Rugby Union but is widely tipped to ply his trade elsewhere next season.

The 24-year-old controversial playmaker caused an uproar last month when he wrote on Twitter that the Wallabies camp had become a ‘toxic environment’, before publicly stating he would have refused to play for Deans if selected for the Test against South Africa in Pretoria.

He was fined $60,000 and looks set to pay an even heavier price after the ARU replaced their initial contract offer to Cooper with an incentive-based deal usually reserved for rookies.

But while it appears the relationship between coach and player has become irreparable, Deans insists he would happily welcome Cooper back into the Wallabies’ fold.

“Of course … I was the bloke that picked him first and picked him routinely,” Deans told Sky Sports Radio when asked if he still sees Cooper as an asset for the Wallabies. ”So clearly I see him as an asset and you want more players available than not, but having said that every year there are players that come and go.”

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Pressed for an update on the Cooper saga, Deans, who is preparing the Wallabies for Sunday’s Test against Italy in Florence, replied: “To be honest I don’t know the detail of it, we’re just that busy doing what we’re doing here.

“I hope that’s not the case (that Cooper is leaving) but who knows. If that’s the case everyone’s entitled to make their own decisions I guess, but I’m not aware he’s actually communicated that to the ARU.”

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