Queensland Rugby Union have advised Quade Cooper that they are withdrawing their contract offer and will not attempt to retain him for the 2016 season and beyond.
It is understood that when Cooper travelled overseas in April he signed a pre-commitment to join French side Toulon at the conclusion of the 2015 Rugby World Cup. However, he had previously – and then continued to – demonstrate a genuineness on wanting to remain with the St.George Queensland Reds and the Qantas Wallabies.
Since that time, his management has been in negotiation with QRU and Australian Rugby Union (ARU). However, due to events over the last few weeks, QRU CEO Jim Carmichael said the organisation was no longer willing to participate in what has been an ongoing process with Cooper’s management.
“Quade has had the unwavering support of Queensland Rugby for many years and although he has consistently indicated his preference to stay with Queensland and both the QRU and ARU have worked tirelessly in an attempt to accommodate the requirements of his management, the QRU has been disappointed in a number of factors throughout this drawn-out negotiation process, including his recent trip to France and what we believe are unrealistic expectations made by his management,” Carmichael said.
“QRU has been flexible in its attempts to retain Quade, offering significant remuneration and being understanding of his boxing ambitions and supportive in relation to the possibility of sabbatical options. We have come to the difficult decision that the investment we have made previously and were prepared to continue to make has not been recognised, particularly when taking into account our commitment to him over a very long period of time. As a consequence, we are no longer prepared to be involved in any further discussions as this will leave the organisation further exposed.
“It goes without saying that Quade leaves us with our gratitude for his time with the Reds and has only our best wishes and thanks as he enters a new chapter in his career.”
In 10 seasons with Queensland, Cooper has played 107 games and scored 772 points since making his debut in 2006. He has also achieved the milestones of 100 caps for Queensland and the overall Super Rugby points scoring record for the Reds. He has played 53 Tests and scored 126 points for the Wallabies.
Cooper moved to Brisbane from Tokoroa, New Zealand, with his family as a 13-year-old. He caught the eye of talent scouts at Anglican Church Grammar School and he received a scholarship to attend the school.
He signed a development contract with the Reds as a teenager and made his Queensland debut at 18 in Japan, alongside friend and teammate Will Genia, in 2006.
He continued to develop as a playmaker at the Reds, making his Super Rugby debut in 2007 and his Test debut the following year.
In 2011, Cooper was a member of the Reds’ Super Rugby title triumph, he was also involved in a Tri-Nations series win with the Wallabies and was Australia’s starting flyhalf at the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
Since 2011, an unfortunate run of serious injuries has limited his time on the field for the Reds, including a knee reconstruction in late 2011, surgery on an AC joint injury in 2014, a fractured collar bone during pre-season training in early 2015 and a fractured scapula in just his second game back from injury in April 2015.
Place of birth: Tokoroa, New Zealand
Senior Club: Souths
Junior Club: Souths
School: Anglican Church Grammar School
Representative Honours: Australian Schoolboys (2005-2006), Australian Under 19s (2007), Queensland (2007-2015), Australian Wallabies (2008-), Rugby World Cup (2011), Brisbane City (2014).
Queensland debut: 2006 v Japan
Queensland caps: 107
Queensland points: 772 (24T, 113C, 135PG, 7DG)
Super Rugby debut: 2007 v Crusaders
Super Rugby caps: 105
Super Rugby points: 770 (24T, 112C, 135PG, 7DG)
Test Rugby debut: 2008 v Italy
Test Rugby caps: 53
Test Rugby points: 126