Waratahs snub for Cooper

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Gibson, who will take over from Michael Cheika as head coach next season, gave short shrift to local media reports saying Cooper might make a move to Sydney after the Queensland Reds ended negotiations over a new contract on Sunday.

“It's an interesting one, a bit of just trying to join the dots, I guess,” the former All Black told reporters.

“Quade's a wonderful player, don't get me wrong, I'd love for him to be part of the New South Wales Waratahs at some stage, he'd be a wonderful addition.

“But we're full, we've got salary cap issues and I think he'd be struggling to find a spot in our team.”

Bernard Foley will play at flyhalf when the reigning Super Rugby champions meet the Otago Highlanders in the playoff semi-finals on Saturday, while inside centre Kurtley Beale has also occupied the number 10 shirt for the Waratahs and Australia.

Beale is out of contract at the end of the season along with Wallabies fullback Israel Folau, but Gibson said he thought they would both be around next year.

“I think both Kurtley and Israel are making positive noises about staying,” Gibson added. “We hope in the next two to three weeks we can announce something regarding them.”

Beale has a more immediate problem with a quadricep injury sustained two weeks ago threatening to rule him out of Saturday's contest at the Sydney Football Stadium.

“He is due to run on Thursday, he has obviously been doing a lot of rehabilitation and provided he passes that fitness test, he'll be available to play,” said Gibson.

“It was a two to three week injury, so time's against us but he's going to give it a go.”

Matt Carraro filled in at centre in the final match of the regular season against Queensland despite a broken thumb and Gibson expects him to be fit to stand in for Beale again.

Wallabies winger Rob Horne, who missed the last two matches of the season after being banned for a spear tackle, is also struggling with a calf problem but Gibson thinks he too will be able to play against the Highlanders.

Cooper has already signed a pre-agreement with European champions Toulon and despite the Australian Rugby Union's desire for him to stay, will head to France if he cannot find a Super Rugby team. – Reuters

Original source: Waratahs snub for Cooper

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