Maverick flyhalf Quade Cooper has hit out at coach Brad Thorn, who he believes tried to undermine his career at the Reds.
Appearing as a guest on Will Greenwood’s podcast, Cooper opened up about his experiences at the Reds following his return to the franchise in 2017.
That season he played 12 of the Reds’ 15 matches with a 74-point contribution. But in a shock twist, he fell out of favour before the start of the 2018 campaign after a breakdown in his relationship with Thorn.
His omission from the squad led to him playing club rugby throughout 2018 before joining the Melbourne Rebels in 2019.
‘He [Thorn] said I would be the fifth-choice flyhalf, and having been able to look back and see, I feel that they were trying to push me into a corner and play on my ego … you know, try and belittle me,’ Cooper said.
‘I mean, I played seventy Tests for Australia … and to say that there was a young player at the Reds at that time that was a better player and four other club players that were better players than me, like, mate, I can see straight through that.
‘If he and the club had spoken to me as a man, with respect, and basically said: “Look, we’re rebuilding, you’re paid a lot of money, and the next closest person wouldn’t even be on half the money that you’re on … we need some of that money to rebuild properly …” Now that I would understand.
‘I love that club, and I think that’s a different type of conversation instead of coming in with the angle of trying to belittle someone. So I just felt that the way they went about it just wasn’t the right way to go about it, so that’s the reason I just stayed and played football.’
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