Cooper has enough Wallabies responsibilities already
January 30, 2014
Quade Cooper has enough on his plate without the Test captaincy, George Gregan says © Getty Images
George Gregan marvels at Quade Cooper's rejuvenation barely 12 months after describing the Australian team environment as "toxic", but he wonders if the vacant Wallabies captaincy might be one step too far.
Cooper's transformation appears almost complete after he was named Wallabies vice-captain on the end-of-year tour to Europe, and the once-troubled fly-half was thrown into the captaincy mix following incumbent skipper Ben Mowen's decision to head for France at the end of the year.
But Gregan suggests the extra responsibility of captaincy might not be ideal for the enigmatic Cooper who already held a high-pressure Wallabies role, saying "he is in a very influential and responsible position anyway and there is a lot of pressure on the 10".
"Can it be done? Yes. But taking on a bit more responsibility as a vice-captain and supporting the skipper in terms of steering the team around with Will Genia, I think, is already a nice mix."
Gregan baulked when asked to suggest who should replace Mowen as captain, but he said the Wallabies already had an ideal leadership group in the likes of Cooper and ex-skippers James Horwill, Genia and David Pocock.
"I think it is good in that there are a number of candidates," he said. "All good teams have three, four or upwards who, if need be, could put their hand up as captain. They know they have a core group of leaders around them who support them. That's what I like seeing in this Wallabies team, and whoever gets the job will do really well with great support around them."
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