Cheika thinks Cooper will stay in Australia

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika says he thinks that fly half Quade Cooper could be about to rebuff an offer from European giants Toulon and sign a new deal with the Australian Rugby Union (ARU).

Toulon announced in April that Cooper had signed a two year deal with the French club after the Rugby World Cup but the player himself has yet to confirm or deny the move.

Even though Toulon made the announcement about Cooper the ARU and the Reds have remained in talks with Cooper and Cheika believes that an offer has now been tabled that could tempt the fly half to stay in Australia.

“The way he is investing in what we are doing… and his input into the programme and what is going on, you’d like to think he is staying for quite a while because that’s definitely the feel he has given off,” Cheika told Reuters.

“His commitment and investment in that project, what he’s giving, and his involvement there, and his eagerness to be involved.

“But it is still a decision that is up to him and his management. They are taking their time to make the right one and I don’t have a problem with that.

“I’m very keen for him to stay.”

Southern Hemsphere playing stocks will take a heavy blow after the World cup when players from all three SANZAR countries will lose players to Europe including Coopers Reds team mates Will Genia and James Horwill.

The ARU have changed their rules on player eligibility as the talent abroad has become too significant to ignore.

Cooper is currently seven caps short of the 60-cap mark which would make his eligible for Wallaby selection if he was playing in Europe and he has fallen behind Bernard Foley in the Australian pecking order.

Cooper missed most of last year’s Test season as well as most of this year’s Super Rugby season but in the five matches that he played for the Reds he showed he still has the Xfactor.

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