Quade Cooper elaborated on his earlier tweet about the ‘toxic’ environment at the Wallabies in an interview on The Rugby Club on Thursday night. Whether you love or hate him, Cooper has certainly stirred the Australian rugby community into a frenzy and finally confirmed the rumours and speculation by many pundits that something is up inside the Wallabies camp and with the Australian Rugby administration.
Oddly silent after Cooper’s ‘toxic’ tweets, the above interview forced the hand of the ARU who then released the following statement;
“In light of Quade’s interview last night, we feel compelled to respond because he has moved beyond his comments of the weekend.
“Much of what was said on The Rugby Club has left us utterly confused.
“Quade wants more of a say in the game plan, he wants to play his style of game.
“He certainly made that clear. Yet he also said he could adapt if required.
“He talks of an unhappy environment without elaborating.
“He uses the word toxic – an extremely strong descriptor.
“However, when pressed on the issues he turned to facilities and the Wallabies not having a dedicated place to train.
“We’ve never had these concerns raised previously.
“The fact is the Wallabies are a national team. They train, stay and play in cities all around the country and overseas.
“The Australian cricket team and the Socceroos, same thing.
“Suggesting the Wallabies are under resourced has equally come out of the blue.
“Most disturbingly, he was firm about not playing for the Wallabies unless things change.
“If that is how he feels, then that is his choice.
“The reality is a decision on whether or not he stays in Australian Rugby has to this point rested with him since he received an ARU offer in early July.”
It will be interesting to see how this will unfold over the next few weeks. Will any of his Wallabies’ teammates back him up or will he be standing as the lone wolf? Will the fans allow him to be welcomed back into the playing fold after saying he wouldn’t wear the ‘yellow’ jersey if selected now and disrespecting the honour that comes with playing for your country?
Only time will tell and I’m sure all will be played out once the game against the Springboks has been played today. I wait with baited breathe!