‘Cooper must pay Toulon, not ARU’

Date published: July 23 2015

The ARU will not pay anything towards getting Quade Cooper out of his Toulon contract, according to general manager Rod Clarke.

Cooper is set to sign a new four-year deal with the ARU to stay in Australia, despite being pictured in a Toulon shirt earlier this year after signing for the European champions.

Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal threatened to sue Cooper and the ARU on Wednesday over Cooper pulling out of his deal.

Speaking to the Courier Mail, Clarke suggested that the matter was one for Cooper and his agent, not the ARU, saying that the union would not be paying any of Cooper's alleged get-out clause of $200,000 (AUS)

“We will leave that very much in the hands of Quade and his management. That is their issue… and the ARU really isn’t planning on being involved in it,” said Clarke.

“It is very difficult if or when a player has actually signed or contracts are registered. It is not as though the Australian Rugby Union gets notified by the French that our players are being registered over there.

"It is very much in the hands of Quade and his manager on how they move forward on that.

“There might be a few noses out of joint overseas because we are now taking a proactive approach to make sure we have the best talent available here to represent the Wallabies and our Super Rugby clubs, and we make no excuse for that.

“Let’s just say a lot of thought went into the strategy behind the policies we now have and they operate at many different levels.

“What I am pleased to see is that is already having an immediate impact. For all fans in Australia, they should be delighted with some of the results we are getting in terms of players either choosing to stay here and play for Australia, or indeed returning.”