Cooper finds peace of mind in fresh hobby

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

Quade Cooper eats, sleeps and breathes rugby but he has found a new hobby which allows him to switch off between training days and match days - golf.

Cooper is the first to admit he never thought he would spend his time off on the golf course but one session at the driving range during his three-week suspension was all it took for the flyhalf to be hooked.

He was out on course the next day and has already worked through the Indooroopilly and Victoria Park courses in his spare time.

The chance to switch his phone off and get away for a few hours is just as appealing to the 29-year-old as the mental concentration required to put together a solid round - a feat Cooper said he is yet to achieve.

Cooper is back to lead the Reds attack against the Kings. Photo: Getty Images"I’ve been training every day, working on my body, working on my game, I’ve been able to get out and play a little bit of golf as well, which has been great," Cooper said.

"It’s been really good fun.

"Being able to find something else outside of football to try and escape for an hour, two hours and do something different, that’s been very refreshing.

"But my love is playing rugby so I’m excited to get another opportunity."

The mercurial flyhalf will resume his chief playmaking role against the Kings on Saturday afternoon after watching on from the sidelines for three weeks.

He as good a rugby brain as any and shared some insight into what he thinks has gone so horribly wrong for Queensland as he watched on from the sidelines.It's been tough going for the Reds in 2017. Photo: Getty Images"From my point of view when I was watching the games, we were contesting every breakdown and putting a lot of pressure on ourselves in defence and then we didn’t have much energy to attack with," he said.

"When you’re fatigued and putting so much effort into the breakdowns with not too much return, when you get the ball in your hands and you’re trying to light it up and spark something - it’s very difficult.

"Guys who are fatigued are dropping the ball so we have to put a bit more emphasis on being accurate in defence, staying in the line, making our tackles and then reloading - not wasting too much energy on lost ball."

Can Cooper reverse the Reds fortunes? Photo: WalmsleyCooper has also kept a close eye on young playmaking prospect Hamish Stewart, who will provide cover on the bench ahead of Jake McIntyre on Saturday.

"He’s like most young kids these days - he’s tough, confident and the thing I like about him is that he’s gone about his work and keeps trying to improve," he said.

"He’s not trying to get out there and be anything he’s not, he’s just trying to learn and understand that he has a big opportunity ahead of him.

"He has a bright future ahead and I’m looking forward to getting to know him a bit more and play alongside him a bit more."

The Reds take on the Kings on Saturday afternoon, kicking off at 3:05pm, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS and