Cooper takes swipe at Thorn with Rebels move imminent

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman in Japan

Quade Cooper has taken a parting shot at Reds coach Brad Thorn after his move to the Melbourne Rebels was rubber stamped by Rugby Australia.

As revealed by RUGBY.com.au in September, Cooper is set to join the Rebels in 2019 with an announcement possible as early as the end of this week.

Cooper has kept publicly quiet about his 2019 plans for much of this season, adamant he was focused on playing club rugby and NRC in Queensland after Thorn told him he would not be required at the Reds.

The playmaker had previously turned down an approach from the Rebels but with Thorn refusing to budge on his stance, Cooper's view changed.

Rebels coach Dave Wessels was keen to have Cooper move to Melbourne and team up with long-time Reds partner Will Genia.

With a $650,000 salary burning a hole in their books, Queensland was more than happy to help facilitate Cooper's move. 

Cooper made a pointed swipe at Thorn on Instagram on Monday night, giving his strongest indication yet of his looming move.

He posted a picture of the Wallabies-All Blacks 2011 Rugby World Cup semi-final where he and Thorn were going toe-to-toe with the caption, "Sometimes you are forced out of the place you love but thank god there’s more than one place that loves me."


Though he didn't reveal his next destination in the post, Cooper left no doubt that his days at the Reds are over.

Cooper was a fan favourite at Ballymore as he rose up the rugby ranks, culminating in a 2011 Super Rugby championship, but his time with the club has been rocky since.

He signed a deal with French glamour club Toulon in 2015 but returned to Australia to play for the Aussie Sevens and vie for an Olympic spot before the European season was out.

Cooper inked a three-year deal with the Reds in 2017 with Nick Stiles as head coach before Thorn took over and effectively ended Cooper's Queensland tenure.