With coach locked in, Reds turn to Quade

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

With a head coach locked in, the Queensland Reds shift their attention to bringing enigmatic flyhalf Quade Cooper home.

Nick Stiles was announced as the new Reds coach on Tuesday and was quick to express his desire to see Cooper back in Queensland, though stressed no deal was done.

Cooper is believed to be deciding between a Queensland homecoming and going to the Rebels, with the Reds coaching appointment a key factor in that decision.

The Reds have made no secret of their keenness to bring the mercurial playmaker back to Ballymore and reiterated their interest on Tuesday.

Quade Cooper could be back in Tests before Super Rugby. Photo: Getty ImagesStiles has been in touch with Cooper during his time in Toulon and while he was quick to stress no decision had been made, he hoped their history would help him come home.

“There’s no contract signed, He hasn’t agreed to come to the Reds,” he said.

“I’d like to think, if you’ve been following his social tweets, his holiday he had through Santorini and the UK, he’d be really refreshed to make a clear decision.

“I’ve got a good relationship with Quade. He's a Queensland Red, he’s passionate about the place and hopefully we can get that sorted moving forward.

Cooper has played all of his Super Rugby with the Reds, notching his 100th cap in the 2014 season, and Reds general manager Daniel Herbert said that history meant a lot.

“We’ve been talking to Quade for some time and I’ve spoken publicly which I won’t often do about our desire to get Quade back.

“He is emotionally invested with this club and has been since he was 14.

“He loves it and we'd like to see him back but he wants to be in the right environment and he wants to know who the coach is going to be.

“He’ll now know but we’ve been keeping in contact with him.

“Should he want to come back we’ve always left that door open and we think he’d really round out our team list very well for 2017.”


Just the two of us 😂🎤🎤🎤 #SaltAndPepper @willgenia

A photo posted by Quade Cooper (@quadecooper) on

Cooper is currently in Wallabies camp ahead of the upcoming Rugby Championship, eligible to make a return in that tournament after signing a three-year agreement with the ARU.

He is not the only departed local that the Reds would welcome back but Herbert ruled out the possibility of either Will Genia (Stade Francais) or Digby Ioane, who has been rumoured to have signed with the Crusaders, fronting up in 2017.

"The art of the list strategy is about getting Queenslanders who have left back here, who are motivated to make a difference to this place," Herbert said.

“That is part of an overarching list strategy but it’s not all and sundry and it’s at a time and place and whether we’re actually in market for someone with their skills base.

“We wouldn’t say never to either of those two players.”