February 9, 2018 / 2:46 AM / in a year

Rugby-Dumped Cooper's situation not 'perfect' - Rugby Australia

SYDNEY, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Shunned Wallabies flyhalf Quade Cooper’s contract situation is not “perfect” but Rugby Australia will just need to deal with it as best they can, chief executive Raelene Castle said on Friday.

The 29-year-old Cooper, who is contracted with RA and the Queensland Reds until 2019, has been told by new Reds coach Brad Thorn he was not wanted for the 2018 Super Rugby season and free to leave.

Until then, Cooper was being paid a reported A$700,000 ($543,900) per year to play club rugby in Brisbane, which has created some controversy in Australia.

“It’s not a perfect situation, no doubt,” Castle told reporters on Friday. “The interesting thing about player contracting is it’s not a perfect science.

“Sometimes you get it really right and sometimes, like the Quade situation, you get a situation where you go, ‘Gee, if I had the benefit of hindsight we might have contracted for a shorter period of time’, but we are where we are.”

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, who also dropped Cooper from the national side after some lacklustre performances last June, added that it was up to the New Zealand-born pivot to keep plugging away to try to prove his worth.

“It’s not an easy thing — that would not be an easy thing for him to be dealing with,” Cheika said. “As a footballer that’s not nice when your coach says, ‘we don’t want you’.

“How he decides to react from that now given a bit of time, I think that’ll be the time where it’s about the right time to starting saying, ‘okay, how are we going to deal with that?’

“Just can’t sit around and hope we get an outcome, let’s try and make something happen.”

The 2018 Super Rugby season starts next week with two fixtures in the South African Conference before the Australian and New Zealand Conference teams join the competition the following week.

The Reds travel to Melbourne to face the Rebels in their season opener on Feb. 23.

$1 = A$1.2870 Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by John O'Brien

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