Dynamic duo Quade Cooper and Sonny Bill Williams could be offered up as a potent package deal for a rugby league club in 2013 when the code is flush with new television rights money.
Cooper’s re-signing yesterday on another one-year deal with the Australian Rugby Union for 2012 is upbeat news for Queensland Reds and Wallabies in the short term.
It does little to fend off speculation on where he may finish his football career because he freely discussed a jump to the NRL as “a genuine option” to be revisited for 2013.
The mercurial Reds flyhalf is in the same stable as NRL ace-turned All Black Williams because they share creative player agent Khoder Nasser.
The pair will be part of the hotly anticipated Reds-Crusaders showdown at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday week, yet they may not always be rivals.
What about teammates in 2013?
“It’s a good option to have when Sonny is one of the best players and centres in the world,” Cooper said.
“A player like myself would love to play with a player like that.
“To have that option would be great
“Another 12 to 18 months is a long time until I’m off contract so I won’t be thinking about doing anything but my best for the red jersey and the gold.
“Down the track, it’s something to think about.”
Nasser raised his eyebrows yesterday with a teasing look at the potential of such a partnership.
The bid team behind the second NRL club for Brisbane, with a proposed birth date of 2013, might be raising their own eyebrows because a potential salary cap bump from $4.3 million to $7 million that year makes such a joint deal affordable.
“Who wouldn’t like Quade throwing you passes or a Sonny Bill beside you to take some of the pressure off,” Nasser said.
Williams is off contract at the end of 2011 so his contract cycle does not yet coincide with Cooper.