Quade Cooper breaks silence on World Cup omission

Quade Cooper featured in 80 Tests for Australia
Quade Cooper featured in 80 Tests for Australia

Wallabies fly-half Quade Cooper opened up on the disappointment of missing out on their recently concluded Rugby World Cup campaign in France.

Cooper was left out of the Wallabies squad along with regular skipper Michael Hooper and Bernard Foley with former coach Eddie Jones describing they were “not the right role models” for the team going forward.

The 35-year-old has featured in 80 Tests for the Wallabies and was expected to be a key member of the World Cup squad but Jones went with one specialist flyhalf in the group ahead of Cooper and Foley.

The lack of experience proved costly for the Wallabies in the campaign as they lost two Pool matches and became the first ever Australian side to be eliminated in the opening round of the competition with Jones removed from the role.

“To be honest, I just felt I wasn’t going to go. I just had a sense. You can read people’s energy,” Cooper told The Sydney Morning Herald.

“Especially in the last four years, my journey has been about development and the process. I have put myself into a place where my worth isn’t controlled by wearing a Wallabies jersey. It’s a huge honour, though.

“I wanted the boys to do well, like Carter (Gordon). I was quite upset because I felt I couldn’t help in any way. I had to sit back and watch things play out in front of me.”

Cooper went on to add that Jones questioning his commitment for the game took him aback.

“To be honest, the thing that got me about that comment was more so that he questioned my want to win,” Cooper said.

“There were a lot of comments throughout the year that put a lot of players under pressure – some things that were said about other teams right before we were about to play them.

“Some of the things he said to grab headlines – at other people’s expense – I just don’t operate like that.

“I had nothing bad to say about Eddie as a person or a man. I didn’t agree with some of the things that were said, especially about myself, ‘Hoops’ and ‘Foles’.

“My philosophy is to be the best I can be. It’s about building good habits and foundations That’s a winning mindset… I want to be reliable. When people want to push the blame on others, that isn’t a winning mindset.”