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3 days ago
Whether Quade Cooper plays in the NRL or not next year, I'm having a good time watching the leather patch brigade squirm. A little more on them in a minute.
But I reckon one guy that's not having a laugh right now is Karmichael Hunt.
In the past week his former club Brisbane has shelled out big coin to secure the signature of Greg Inglis and now Parramatta have tabled a significant offer to Wallabies star Cooper in an effort to prise him from the ARU.
Hunt must be wondering why he didn't see any of this floating around when he was considering his future a little over a year ago. Probably because they could pay Josh Hoffman and Corey Norman the same amount and come out in front on the field. And now they have Inglis instead of Israel Folau - nice work if you can manage it.
But what does Cooper's potential code switch say to league and union types in this country?
It says that player's are perhaps not as interested in World Cup glories as the ARU insists they are. And they're certainly not as keen on it when the Wallabies are not dominating.
The usual suspects are out in force in the media as the ARU try to plead their case in the papers. Brendan Cannon is blaming Cooper's manager - how dare he get a good deal for his client! Spiro Zavos almost suggests that Cooper himself should be paying the ARU after the way they steadfastly stood beside him - yeah right, they took him off the clothes line after they hung him out to dry! And of course David Campese has bared his teeth and already told Cooper if he's thinking about leaving then he should just go. Ridiculous.
The ARU is petrified their up-and-coming superstar might jump ship thus sending a message to the kids out there watching that if Quade Cooper can walk away from a World Cup then you can too. Someone else in Cooper's ear might be former Wallaby and current Eels centre Timana Tahu. Yep, he did the same thing - walked out mid-contract because he preferred the NRL and wanted another premiership.
And where's all the money coming from? Well my guess is when it suits the NRL the salary cap doesn't really exist.
The NRL are desperate to head-off the AFL's Mormon-like blitz into western Sydney and allowing the Eels to tippy-toe around pinching a Wallaby is just what the doctor ordered. Like Roy Masters stated on Saturday - there's an acceptable level of cheating and whilst Melbourne maxed out their tent hiring credit card, Brisbane and Parramatta haven't yet received their first bill.
I'd be filthy if I was Mat Rogers.
Meanwhile, if we actually get an Independent Commission in November, I'd expect this sort of thing might increase in the next few seasons. Most indications are that the next TV rights deal will surpass the previous one and that the salary cap may climb to 6 or 7 million dollars per club in 2012.
If you're Brisbane put a