Cooper dismisses Deans rift rumour

Thu, 11 Apr 2013 12:31
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Quade Cooper said he has no problems with coach Robbie Deans after his surprise omission from a 30-man Wallabies planning camp.

Quade Cooper said he has no problems with coach Robbie Deans after his surprise omission from a 30-man Wallabies planning camp ahead of this year's British and Irish Lions series.

Cooper was left out of Deans' prospective squad for the three-Test home series in June but he has taken his non-selection on the chin.

The 38-Test playmaker played down his omission seven weeks before the official 25-man Wallabies Test squad is named.

"It's no big issue really because we have a big season ahead of us," Cooper told the Australian Associated Press.

"People are going to look at players differently. It's not the first or the last time you're going to miss out on a side."

With Kurtley Beale currently suspended for off-field disciplinary issues, fellow Melbourne Rebels star James O'Connor is the early favourite to be Australia's flyhalf against the Lions.

Cooper was fined AU$60,000 (US$63,100) and banned for three games last October for bringing the game into disrepute by criticising Deans.

The 25-year-old made headlines when he lashed out on social media at the "toxic" environment within the national squad and the defensive style of the coach.

The Queensland Reds star believes there are no lingering problems in his relationship with Deans, who will assemble his players for strategy meetings as well as promotional and administrative tasks.

"It's like just any other player-coach relationship," Cooper said.

"I've got to do what I can as a player and he has to do what he thinks best as the coach.

"I've got full respect and trust in what he's doing for the team and I'll continue to do what I can for the team I'm part of now, which is the Reds."

AFP

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