Wallabies fly-half Quade Cooper a target for Rebels says Will Genia
Last Updated: 07/09/18 7:12am
Will Genia says the Rebels are set to throw former Australia fly-half Quade Cooper a career lifeline.
Cooper has been frozen out at the Reds by head coach Brad Thorn but remains one of the country's highest-paid players despite playing third-tier club rugby in Brisbane.
Genia, who once formed a formidable half-back partnership with Cooper at the Reds and the Wallabies, said Rebels coach Dave Wessels was targeting his former team-mate.
"I know Dave is definitely keen on him and wanted to have a few conversations with him," said Genia.
"Hopefully they can come to some sort of agreement. He's a world-class player.
"To have someone like that in the playmaking role at the Rebels would be huge.
"That's probably our biggest missing piece."
Despite an injection of Wallabies players from Western Force, the Rebels failed to reach the play-offs for an eighth successive season.
Wallabies utility back Reece Hodge took the No 10 shirt in the second half of the season after incumbent Jack Debreczeni struggled in the pivotal position.
The Rebels signed Matt Toomua from Leicester Tigers for 2019 but he will not arrive until late in the season.
"Hodgey played 10 and played pretty well there but I think he's more of a centre," said Genia.
"So to have someone in the team who has won a title before and has had that success would make a huge difference."
Despite being an outcast at the Reds, 30-year-old Cooper has said he wants to remain in Queensland and regain his place in the Super Rugby side.
Former All Black Thorn has remained adamant, however, that the New Zealand-born player is not in his plans.
The standoff has left Cooper an expensive burden on the Reds' roster, with his contract worth an estimated £360,000 per year and not set to expire until the end of 2019.