Fly-half Quade Cooper remains passionate about Australia, says Ewen McKenzie
Last Updated: 29/10/12 12:42pm
Quade Cooper: Ewen McKenzie believes fly-half remains passionate about rugby in Australia
Queensland Reds coach Ewen McKenzie believes outspoken Australia fly-half Quade Cooper is desperate to play for the Wallabies again.
Cooper's controversial comments about the team environment have led to a charge of bringing the game into disrepute and have reportedly angered current and former players.
The 24-year-old is due to attend a code-of-conduct hearing on Wednesday and reportedly faces the threat of his current Australian contract, which ends on December 31, being torn up, or the prospect of a hefty fine.
Questions are being asked regarding his commitment to winning back his Wallabies place, but McKenzie is of the firm belief the fly-half remains passionate about his rugby and representing his country.
"While there's been a lot of talk in recent times I've never ever thought that he wasn't passionate about the Reds, about Australian rugby," said McKenzie.
"He's one of the most competitive guys I've met. I'm sure he'll want to play No.10 at the highest level he can in front of the biggest crowds he can possibly play. That's him.
"He wants to showcase (his skills) but the thing people miss is that he likes the responsibility of making things happen and having a game plan and taking it on the field.
"He likes to be empowered to do that and he feels that's his job. I've seen no change in him in that sense."