Reds Boss Brad Thorn Finally Reveals Why He Axed Quade Cooper
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New Queensland Red boss Brad Thorn has spoken out for the first time about his very public axing of Wallabies playmaker Quade Cooper from his squad for the upcoming season.
Thorn told Cooper his services would not be needed this year, in a shocking turn of events. He’s been told he may find a new club if he wishes, and has not trained with the Reds since Thorn axed him late last year.
The former All Blacks says Cooper struggled last season, plain and simple, and that the club is now heading in a different direction.
“I thought Quade last year… the team struggled, his game management, his attack, his defence (struggled)” Thorn explained.
“I’m in this role — sometimes you’ve got to make tough decisions.”
“I played against him as a Crusader, as an All Black. He’s played over 100 games for this club — he’s had success here,” he said.
“He’s a guy who’s served this club really well.
“Respect to the guy, but we’re just going in a different way.”
Cooper is yet to find a new club in Super Rugby, and unless he agrees a deal overseas, it appears he will play Brisbane club rugby this year. This means he will be on call for the Reds should they require him.
“We’re doing what we’re doing now. But he’s part of the squad.” Thorn added
“He’ll be trying his best with his club rugby and it’s a tough old season, isn’t it?
“At the moment, we’ve got some depth around that position — Hamish Stewart coming through, Jono Lance, Ben Lucas can play there.
“There’s a bit of stuff there.
“It’s competitive, which is what I’m getting a little bit excited about — I’m liking the competition in most positions and I feel like maybe that hasn’t been here.”
Cooper still has two more years to run on his Reds contract and is on a reported $800,000 per season.