Rebels captain Dane Haylett-Petty says he has been blown away by Quade Cooper’s influence on the squad ahead of the 2019 season.
Cooper joined the Rebels from the Reds after a falling out with coach Brad Thorn led to the former Wallabies playmaker playing club rugby for most of 2018.
However, Haylett-Petty, who has taken over from lock Adam Coleman as Rebels captain, says Cooper has had a positive influence at his new team.
‘I think the big thing for me is whether he’s on the field or off he’s such a good influence on the group, especially the younger guys,’ Haylett-Petty said.
‘He’s the ultimate professional and sets a really good example for the boys and his rugby IQ is amazing — like no one I’ve ever played with or met — so just that knowledge he can impart to the group is amazing.’
The Rebels open their Vodacom Super Rugby campaign against the Brumbies in Canberra next Friday. Much will be expected from Cooper as he resumes his halfback partnership with scrumhalf Will Genia. The duo was a major part of the Reds squad that won the 2011 Super Rugby title.
‘I’m probably expecting a bit of Quade magic,’ Haylett-Petty added. ‘I’m really excited about seeing Will and Quade, their combination back together. We know how dangerous they were for the Reds.’