Everyone fooled by Lacrosse trick playEveryone fooled by Lacrosse trick play Rams’ trick NFL punt return playRams’ trick NFL punt return play Kobe blames rape trial for wife’s miscarriageKobe blames rape trial for wife’s miscarriage
Most popular articles
$10,000 up for grabsSign-up for NRL, AFL
and Rugby tipping
Aussie return: Kyle Noke books next fight at UFC AdelaideAussie return: Kyle Noke books next fight at UFC AdelaideIn his first official statement since testing positive to steroids yesterday, UFC superstar Anderson Silva plans to fight the 'allegations' against him. UFC's Rousey scores the only free ticket to Mayweather vs. PacquiaoUFC's Rousey scores the only free ticket to Mayweather vs. PacquiaoWhen former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva tested positive for anabolic steroids today, his entire legacy as a prize fighter was called into question. UFC queen Ronda Rousey lands starring role in action film 'Mile 22' UFC queen Ronda Rousey lands starring role in action film 'Mile 22' Anderson Silva's doctor has said that the former UFC champion denies taking performance enhancing drugs, and wants to be tested again. Bellator files court injunction to nix 'Rampage' Jackson's UFC return Bellator files court injunction to nix 'Rampage' Jackson's UFC return Busted for PEDS today, you won't believe what former UFC champ Anderson Silva told Jon Jones (who recently tested positive to cocaine) at UFC 183. Sprint fighter: Rousey pockets $12k per second for UFC 184 winSprint fighter: Rousey pockets $12k per second for UFC 184 winThe MMA world is in shock after UFC 183 headliners Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz both tested positive to banned substances. Fighter reactions here. On-air battle: UFC's Tom Wight goes head-to-head with fired-up radio host On-air battle: UFC's Tom Wight goes head-to-head with fired-up radio host Both Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz have failed drug tests following UFC 184. Silva tested positive for an anabolic steroid, while Diaz tested for marijuana.
Wide World of Sports TV partners
Footy ClassifiedOur award winning panel tell it how it really is in the AFL world.AFL Footy ShowAustralia's favourite team takes you through the week in AFL.NRL Footy ShowFatty and the gang bring you an entertaining look at rugby league.Wide World of SportsCatch up with Ken Sutcliffe and the team on Wide World of Sports.
Laurie Daley likens Quade to Benji
By Darren Walton
16:46 AEST Tue Nov 20 2012

NSW State of Origin coach Laurie Daley has lauded Quade Cooper's Benji Marshall-like talents as Australian rugby greats warn of the damage his potential departure could have on their code.

Cooper's professional future remained up in the air on Tuesday, the usually Twitter-happy five-eighth going to ground as speculation swirled around him.

The 24-year-old was reportedly set to quit Australian rugby to either continue playing overseas, switch to rugby league or possibly even turn to boxing.

The disillusioned playmaker's manager Khoder Nasser said on Monday Cooper would hold a press conference next week in the wake of being offered a downgraded, incentive-based contract by the Australian Rugby Union.

"It's sad. We can't afford to throw away players of his calibre," Test legend Mark Ella told AAP.

Queensland coaching director Ewen McKenzie, one of Cooper's closest allies, remained hopeful that the 38-Test star would still be with the Reds in 2013.

McKenzie also conceded it would be a hammer blow to the Reds if Cooper did walk away.

"We've done massive things in the past three years in terms of growing the support base, the membership base and finding ways to connect the rugby community to the game and create some positivity," said McKenzie.

"Now he's been a major part of that - not the only person - but our rugby kids need to have heroes and they attach themselves to different people and Quade's certainly one of them.

"You only have to come to an open training session and you'll see how many kids flock to him.

"He has that pulling power, which is important because we're in a hot competition with other codes."

Despite the controversies he's stirred, Cooper has more than 600,000 Twitter followers and was voted runner-up as the fans' most popular player at this year's ARU awards.

Daley said Cooper would "most definitely" make it in rugby league should he make the switch to the NRL.

"He's very talented. I'm sure there'd be a few parties interested in his services," Daley said.

"I suppose he's a bit like Benji in terms of when he's got the ball in his hands he can make the opposition defence stop and it seems as though he's got plenty of time and ability.

"He has certainly, from what I've seen, got the skills to be capable of playing NRL."

While McKenzie chuckled at the prospect of Cooper seriously pursuing a boxing career, he was reluctant to speculate on his next move.

"He's in negotiations with the ARU and we're not involved in those negotiations," he said.

"The frustration has been that we (Queensland) came to terms with Quade some time ago, back in June now, and he declared his intentions to rugby and to us for three years.

"He's given us his word ... I've never felt that he was going to do anything other than play for the Reds.

"If something has changed, it would be disappointing but it's been beyond our control if that's the case."

The ARU's revised offer to Cooper doesn't even place the 2011 Super Rugby Player of the Year among the top 30 in Australia.

But McKenzie didn't wish to buy into the debate over Cooper's worth.

"I'm biased," he said.

"I think a lot of people would have seen that in the right environment he can really do things."

Cooper's Reds and Wallabies halves partner Will Genia agreed "he would be a massive loss".

"But I am a close friend and I want to see him happy and for him to feel that he is respected and getting treated fairly," Genia said.

"That's not to say he is not being treated fairly ... I would love for him to stay, no doubt.

"I love playing with him, there's no other No.10 I enjoy playing with and there's no other guy I love having in my team more."