Waratahs won’t sign Cooper – Gibson

Date published: June 23 2015

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Waratahs assistant coach Daryl Gibson has dismissed rumours that Reds and Wallabies pivot will be joining the Sydneysiders.

Cooper, who earlier this year signed a contract with European champions Toluon, was linked with a switch to the Sydney-based franchise after the Reds ended negotiations on a new deal.

But Gibson, who will be the Waratahs' head coach in 2016, revealed that salary cap restrictions and having several playmakers in his squad already meant Cooper would not be joining them next year.

"For us, you know Quade's a wonderful player," Gibson told Rugby Heaven.

"Don't get me wrong, I'd love him to a part of the NSW Waratahs at some stage. He'd be a great addition, but we're full. We've got salary cap issues and also I think he'd be struggling to get a spot in our team."

The Reds ended negotiations with Cooper over the weekend, citing unreasonable demands from the 53-Test Wallaby and his management.

Sevens now looks like the best option to keep Cooper in Australia. He is a possible option for Australia's men's team for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Cooper has ambitions of representing his country in Rio and Sevens now seems to be at the heart of ongoing negotiations between his manager Khoder Nasser and the Australian Rugby Union (ARU). 

The ARU's general manager, Rob Clarke, revealed that Cooper would be a target for Australia's Sevens team at the Olympics.

"We would love for Quade to continue to play his rugby in Australia and we make no secret of the fact that we are looking to bolster our Sevens squad for our Rio campaign, however what we have put in front of him is a long-term deal that looks well beyond 2016 and the Olympic Games," said Clarke.

"We respect the QRU's position but ultimately he is now a free agent and has to consider a new landscape.

"The decision sits with him as to which road he wants to take but he will do so knowing that the head coach of the Wallabies and the ARU is fully supportive of Quade playing for Australia, from Australia." made no secret of the fact that Cooper would be a target for the Sevens team at the Olympics.

"We would love for Quade to continue to play his rugby in Australia and we make no secret of the fact that we are looking to bolster our Sevens squad for our Rio campaign, however what we have put in front of him is a long-term deal that looks well beyond 2016 and the Olympic Games," Clarke said.

"We respect the QRU's position but ultimately he is now a free agent and has to consider a new landscape.

"The decision sits with him as to which road he wants to take but he will do so knowing that the head coach of the Wallabies and the ARU is fully supportive of Quade playing for Australia, from Australia."

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