Quade Cooper has outlined his plans to play in the NRL this year saying it has always been a dream of his to play in the competition, as reported by The Sydney Morning Herald.
The former Wallaby has declared his intentions to meet with clubs in coming weeks about the prospect of "fulfilling a lifelong dream".
Cooper still has eight months before he is due to play for Japanese side Kintetsu Liners and may ask the club for permission to seek out a short term deal in the NRL before the June 30 deadline.
"I had a great time in Japan and Kintetsu has been nothing short of amazing," Cooper told The Sydney Morning Herald on Monday.
"The experience, the club, the people ... and I'm very much looking forward to going back there. But with their blessing, if they said that they don't mind me going to the NRL for that short three- or four-month season to do something I've always wanted to achieve, then mate, I'd jump at the opportunity to fulfil a dream that I've had since I was a kid. The way things are kind of working out, it could be one where all the stars align."
The Bulldogs are believed to be making inquiries with Cooper's management, however it is believed that Gold Coast Titans head of football Mal Meninga expressed a willingness to meet with the Cooper to discuss the possibility of the 32 year-old signing ahead of the resumption of the season.
"We’d discuss it, for sure, and see what we think," Meninga said.
"There's no doubt he has the skill there. Any of the union guys, especially the backs, who are brought up on league can make the transition. There is a gamble there because ideally you'd want him to have a pre-season because you can't play him in reserve grade.
"You'd have to throw him straight in. You don't want someone like that to come to a club and fail. We'll probably have to wait and see what sort of money we have to spend in the salary cap as well, but we'll talk about it."
Cooper hasn't played a game of rugby league in more than 15 years and is looking forward to the challenge.
"That's the thing, going in there and jumping straight into it, I'd back myself. When I played my first game for the Reds, I was in grade 12 and Eddie (Jones) took me over to Japan and we played against the Japanese international team. I literally went from playing against school kids to an international team. If you’re going to learn, you’re going to learn pretty quickly being thrown in there.
"Jumping out on a rugby league field, it would be one of those things that I know that I would do well in terms of your effort, your skill, your ability. And the stage? That's what you want as an athlete. To play on those stages and challenges. The unknown is one of those things that is kind of scary but exciting at the same time."
With the COVID-19 pandemic leaving the NRL in extreme financial hardship there is doubts on how the 2020 salary cap will be structured going forward, there are also doubts on how clubs will survive the crisis.
Given the late timing of any possible deal, Cooper wouldn't be in for a big pay day, the looming decision is surrounding whether Cooper is willing to risk a lucrative contract in Japan for a short-term stint in the NRL.
Cooper has insisted there is more to his career than money, "Here’s the thing, money is not the be all and end all," he said.
"It is a massive thing for athletes, but there's more than just that. When you’re talking three or four months in the NRL, there’s a hit you’re going to cop but it’s not the end of the world. It’s not a two or three year deal. I have been fortunate enough to play for a while and earn money.
"I'm lucky that in Japan there has been no issues around my pay or having to take a pay cut. At the end of the day, if the opportunity arose you’d have to look at it and weigh everything up."
Cooper has been training with Brisbane Bronco Tevita Pangai-Junior in recent weeks but Cooper isn't afraid to leave Queensland if need be.
"I don’t mind who I play for," he said. "Being a Queensland boy, I love Brisbane. I’m close to the Broncos boy and have always supported Queensland. But I grew up in New Zealand, my team was the Roosters and my favourite player was Brad Fittler. Then I loved the Tigers with Benji Marshall. Then when Sonny, who is now like a brother to me, came on to the scene, I was a massive Dogs supporter. For me it's about playing the game I've always wanted to play and conquering a challenge.
"I reckon six would be my best position. Theoretically I could play fullback or in the centres, but fullback is a bit of specialist position in the game, especially with the high balls and bringing the ball back. For me my biggest strength in the game is my ball skills and my communication skills driving people around the field."