Reds coach Brad Thorn says it was a ‘tough’ decision to axe Quade Cooper.
The Wallabies flyhalf was told late last year by Thorn that his services would not be required for the 2018 season.
Cooper still has two years left on his Reds contract, but has not been training with the squad since then.
‘It’s just a change of direction,’ Thorn told Australian reporters on Thursday. ‘I thought Quade last year… the team struggled, his game management, his attack, his defence [struggled].
‘I’m in this role – sometimes you’ve got to make tough decisions.’
Thorn has said that he would not stand in Cooper’s way should an offer come from an overseas club, and that it would take an injury crisis for Cooper to force his way into the squad.
‘At the moment, we’ve got some depth around that position: Hamish Stewart is coming through, Jono Lance, Ben Lucas can play there.
‘It’s competitive, which is what I’m getting a little bit excited about. I’m liking the competition in most positions and I feel like maybe that hasn’t been here.’
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