Former Wallabies playmaker Quade Cooper has revealed his ambitions to play rugby league alongside long-time friend and ex-All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams.
Williams last month signed with the Toronto Wolfpack in a $10 million two-year deal ahead of the Canadian-based franchise’s debut season in the English Super League.
Speaking on The Ice Project podcast in a wide-ranging interview, Cooper said that he wants to play alongside the 34-year-old Williams before the duo retire, and isn’t ruling out the prospect of switching codes to do so.
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“I want to play with Sonny before we both retire. But I wouldn’t mind playing NRL either, just for one season or even just come and do some training with the lads to see what it is like,” Cooper said.
“If it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen. I am happy with what I have been able to achieve, but if the opportunity arose I would love to do it.”
Cooper is currently signed with the Kintetsu Liners in Japan’s second-tier club competition, the Top Challenge League, after playing in Australia for more than a decade, but the 31-year-old admitted that the lure of playing league has always attracted him, even during his youth in New Zealand.
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“A lot of people say I would come and kill it, and I know I can play it,” he said.
“For me it seems easy in terms of the theory… athletically though, it is a lot harder.
“I look at the game and every time I watch it, I know how much I would love to play and test myself at a professional level. I still want to play, it’s just figuring out whether it is possible.”
The 70-test Wallaby also revealed he had the opportunity to commit himself to the 13-man code in 2010 when he almost put pen to paper to sign with an NRL club, but his dreams in rugby union prevented him from making the switch.
“I basically signed with Parramatta, and then I dropped my nuts and pulled out,” he said.
“I was scared and felt like I would miss out on achieving what I wanted to achieve in rugby. I didn’t want to be a guy that floated in between and did nothing.
“I am sort of glad I didn’t go to Parra because a year later we won the comp with the Reds, and Parra didn’t do too well after that.”
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