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‘Rugby nerd’ Quade Cooper praises ‘special’ Wallabies rival

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Eddie Jones is spoilt for choice ahead of this year’s Rugby World Cup in France. The Wallabies coach has a plethora of genuinely talented first-five eighth’s to choose from as the men in gold chase rugby immortality.


Of course, Quade Cooper is one of them.

Cooper is widely considered to be a frontrunner for the coveted World Cup squad, but the 35-year-old will have to fend off some stiff competition to claim the No. 10 jersey for his own.

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Wallabies Bernard Foley, Ben Donaldson and Noah Lolesio are also running, as is uncapped Australian Carter Gordon.

Gordon has been nothing short of sensational for the Melbourne Rebels in Super Rugby Pacific, and has well and truly thrown himself into World Cup competition on the back of a breakout campaign.

“Rugby nerd” Quade Cooper – as former Wallaby Morgan Turinui described him – couldn’t have spoken more highly of the exciting young talent.

“It is good to have competition and I’ve been rooming with Carter, so he’s a great kid and (I) look forward to working with him,” Cooper said on Rugby Heaven.


“There’s a lot of special things with him and every other young player in this group. He’s a great ball player. He’s got a great pass on him. He’s just a great young kid.

“As are the rest of the boys here. So it’s a great group and I look forward to being in camp for the rest of the week.”

Gordon has cemented his place as the chief No. 10 down south in Melbourne, and is expected to hang onto that role for the years to come.

But, in a boost for both the Rebels and potentially the Wallabies, Gordon could potentially player alongside his younger brother Mason.


Mason has inked a deal with the Rebels – recently re-signing with the club – but is yet to make his Super Rugby Pacific debut.

Speaking with RugbyPass earlier this year at Junior Wallabies training, Mason opened up about the “unbelievable connection” he shares with his brother.

“I live with him down in Melbourne and it’s really good for us because we have an unbelievable connection as brothers, pretty much best friends,” Mason Gordon told RugbyPass.

“We learn off each other very well with different people but we do learn off each other well.

“He’s someone I look up to and know that I’ll have him by my side and I’ll be by his side whenever we need each other.

“Definitely a role model for me. I watch his games every day, I know exactly where he’s supposed to be on the  field and he does leaps and bounds above what he’s supposed to.

“Coming home and getting to see the personal side of him like I have my whole life obviously, he’s my brother, he’s a very professional athlete and I take a lot of things from him.”


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Shaylen 6 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

These guys will be utility players Nick it cannot be helped because coaches cannot help themselves. Rassie looks at players like these and sees the ability to cover multiple positions without losing much. It allows the 6-2 or 7-1. He wont change his coaching style or strategy for one player. At provincial level players like these are indispensable. If there is an injury to your starting 12 but your back up 12 is a bit iffy then a coach is going to go with the back up 10 who is gold and who can play a good 12. Damian Willemse for the Springboks is an obvious case, for the Stormers its the same. Dobson plays him at 12 or 15, with Gelant in the team he plays 12 but if Gelant goes down he doesnt go for his back up 15, he just puts Willemse there. With Frawley its the same at international and provincial level. He just slots in wherever. Frans Steyn made a career out of it. He was much maligned though as a youngster as he never fully developed into any role. He then went to Japan and France to decide for himself what kind of player he was, put on muscle and retained his big boot, ran over players and booted the ball long and came back into the Springboks after about 3 years away and was then certain about how he wanted to play the game no matter what position. Coaches cannot help themselves because they only want what is best for their teams and that means putting your most talented players on even if it means you cause them some discomfort. Sometimes players need to decide how they want to play the game and then adapt that to every position and let the coach decide how they want to use them.

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