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Cooper slams 'toxic' Wallabies

Sun, 23 Sep 2012 12:36
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I don't want to come across as a mercenary
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Injured Wallabies flyhalf Quade Cooper has spoken out against the 'toxic' environment under coach Robbie Deans and has hinted at a switch to Rugby League.

The Reds playmaker, who has been sidelined until the end of the year with a knee injury, launched an attack on the negative atmosphere in the Australian camp at the moment through Twitter on Saturday and suggested that he might join his friend Sonny Bill Williams in the National Rugby League next year.

Cooper began his criticism on Thursday, when he fired a broadside at the conservative tactics the Wallabies are employing under Deans, warning that they will lose fans unless they play a more attractive brand of rugby.

The controversial flyhalf then explained in an interview on Sunday that his comments were not a direct attack on Deans, but rather the result of his frustration with the entire Wallaby set-up at the moment.

"There's a lot of people who are afraid to say what they feel so they just go along with it and nothing is going to change," he told AAP.

"That's why I feel so strongly as a player. I don't want to be involved in the toxic environment, and that's how it is at the moment.

"It's an environment where things aren't going according to plan and everyone is looking to point the finger," he explained.

However, Cooper made it clear that he is prepared to work with Deans to try and fix the issues that he feels have been hampering the Wallabies in recent times.

"All I want to do is fix the problems and get on with it and win rugby games," the 24-year-old said.

"I'm very respectful to Robbie and I'm very thankful to Robbie as well for giving me the opportunity that he has.

"But for me it's about bettering myself and bettering the country and I'm just sick of losing to the All Blacks. I hate losing," he said.

Cooper signed a three-year contract with the Reds in June, but has not finalised things with the ARU yet, and he said that having confidence in their plans is crucial if he is going to make a serious commitment to the code.

"I don't want to come across as a mercenary but I feel very strongly about how this is run because I'm part of it and I want to succeed," he said.

"There would have to be big things to take me away from the game but at the same time I don't want to be a pawn in things that aren't moving forward," he said.

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