NRL clubs have sent a straightforward message to under-performing Wallabies five-eighth Quade Cooper – don’t even think about demanding big money.
The Daily Telegraph was told that Cooper could now expect offers between $250,000 to $300,000 a season from NRL clubs – not the $700,000 a season he demanded earlier this year.
That means Cooper’s run of poor form at the Rugby World Cup could cost him nearly $1.4 million if he entertained a rugby league career over three years.
Cooper, 23, has one more year with the Queensland Reds before throwing himself open to NRL offers. But there appears to be little or no interest from rugby league.
“He wouldn’t get $700,000 a year in league now. Maybe he’s worth $250,000 to $300,000,” one of rugby league’s top player managers said last night.
“Look, he is a rugby league player. He has that Benji Marshall-like instinct and rugby union is too structured for him. But no one would be queueing up to sign him.
“Look at someone like Daly Cherry-Evans. He is on about $130,000 a year and is now a Test player. Rugby league can produce its own without signing a rugby union convert with questionable skills for $700,000.”
Cooper’s plunging value is also a slap in the face for his agent Khoder Nasser, who prides himself on being able to command top dollar for his clients, who include Sonny Bill Williams and Anthony Mundine.
The Daily Telegraph contacted several NRL clubs yesterday and each dismissed a desire to sign Cooper.
“No doubt he can play but whether he would be a success at the highest level in rugby league remains to be seen,” Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs CEO Todd Greenberg said.
Canberra Raiders coach David Furner said: “No, we wouldn’t be interested.”
One club linked to Cooper has been the Sydney Roosters. There have been on-going suggestions the Roosters may sign Williams for next season and then Cooper in 2013.
But not so, according to Roosters chief executive Steve Noyce.
“He (Cooper) is not in our plans,” Noyce said.
“The Roosters seem to get linked to anyone and everyone. It is a tall tale. We weren’t interested leading into the World Cup.”
Just last week, Parramatta Eels chief executive Paul Osborne expressed relief his club narrowly missed out on signing Cooper earlier this year.
“I’m glad we didn’t sign him after watching him last weekend,” Osborne said.