BRISBANE – Dumped Reds playmaker Quade Cooper on Wednesday said he holds out hopes of a return to the Wallabies via club rugby at Brisbane team Souths.
Cooper said was excited to be back at his childhood club after new Reds coach Brad Thorn told him he was not part of his plans for the Super Rugby season.
And he told reporters he had not considered a move overseas to Europe or Japan after being frozen out by the Reds.
“I signed a three-year contract. When you sign a three-year contract, that’s showing your cards,” said Cooper.
“I want to be here for three years. I want to enjoy my time here, and I get the opportunity to play for my club,” the 29-year-old said.
Cooper said he had spoken to Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, who encouraged him to demonstrate he could still be in the frame for a national recall.
“If the opportunity arises where I get the chance to represent the Reds and the Wallabies again, then so be it,” he said.
“But at this point in time, I’ve got a great opportunity to represent this great club, to go out there and hopefully win a title for Souths.”
Cooper has played 70 Tests, but has not been selected by Cheika since last June.
Had fun today. was good to be back in the field doing what I love ♥️.. one thing I hadn’t missed and that’s feeling so sore after a game.. but winning is the best form of pain relief ✊🏾 @SouthsRugby ⚫️⚪️
“Whenever I go to a school or go and watch a game, parents always come up to me and ask me about the pathway for their kids to reach the top – to play for the Reds or to play for the Wallabies – and club rugby is that pathway,” he said.
“So for me to be able to use that pathway that’s there in place for us, it’s a great opportunity.”
Cooper added he was delighted to see the Reds doing so well in Super Rugby, winning their last three matches after dropping the season-opener to the Melbourne Rebels.
“I’m still part of the team. I’ve played 120-odd games, and I love that they are doing well.”