‘Wilkinson to Cooper like foie gras to pâté’

Date published: January 11 2016

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Mourad Boudjellal is never shy of criticising his high-profile signings, but he may have just topped his efforts when summing up Quade Cooper's first few months with Toulon.

Asked by Quinze Mondial how to describe the switch from Jonny Wilkinson at fly-half – who won two European Cups and a Top 14 crown with Toulon – to new signing Cooper, Boudjellal used the following analogy.

"It's difficult to go from foie gras to pâté."

Cooper has certainly yet to get going at the Stade Félix Mayol, mixing flashes of brilliance with predominantly underwhelming performances.

Toulon have crunch games on their radar against Wasps and away to Bath in the Champions Cup and with Matt Giteau sidelined for two more weeks through injury, the pressure is on the former Reds number ten to deliver.

Boudjellal added: "For now, Cooper is not what I was hoping for. But we have to also give him time.

"Right now if I say that I'm not happy with our stars, it's only because we expect a lot. It's true that in our imagination, we want them to fly across the pitch. 

"We've been spoiled somewhat by [Tana] Umaga and then Wilkinson, so maybe we need to give them time…"

Boudjellal has previously criticised Cooper, Ma'a Nonu and Tom Taylor in recent weeks with Toulon currently fourth in the Top 14 – although just two points behind leaders Racing 92 – while they also trail Wasps in second spot in the Champions Cup in Pool 5.

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