WALLABIES STAR QUADE Cooper has revealed he will not play for Australia in the current environment as it is ‘destroying’ him.
The five-eighth attacked the culture of the Wallabies camp recently, claiming the set-up was ‘toxic’ on Twitter while he also said he was only able to play his natural attacking game from ‘February to May’, in reference to the Super Rugby season.
Cooper is clearly disappointed with the tactics employed by current Australia coach Robbie Deans and continued his explosive remarks in an interview on the Rugby Club, on Thursday.
“I’m just striving to be the best that I can be and that’s why I said (in reference to his Twitter comments) I didn’t want to be involved in that kind of environment,” Cooper said.
“For me to continue to improve as a player and as a person you want to be in the best possible environment.
“And I feel that that environment is destroying me as a person and as a player, so that I can’t do the best that I can do to represent my country and my family and my friends, to the best of my ability.”
The 24-year-old is on the sidelines with a knee injury but made the stunning comments that if he was fit and picked, he would turn his back on his country and refuse to play.
“No (I would not play), like I said, it’s the environment there at the moment,” he said.
“(The environment) is one that I don’t feel comfortable in and if I don’t feel comfortable and if I don’t feel that I can give 100 per cent for my country and that yellow jersey, that’s a very big problem.”
Cooper – who said his comments were not a personal attack on Deans – is also reported to be annoyed at the lack of a national training facility for the Wallabies, with the squad consistently moving cities dependent on their fixture list.
He also insisted that money was not behind his recent comments and that he would continue to honour his existing three-year contract with the Queensland Reds.
“Money has nothing to do with it. I’ve got a contract with the Reds that I’m happy with and I signed that a long time ago,” Cooper said.
Australia have struggled in the 2012 Rugby Championship, losing back-to-back matches against New Zealand before posting battling home wins over South Africa and Argentina.