Quade Cooper
Quade Cooper Chris Hyde / Getty Images

Will Quade Cooper leave rugby and try his hand at league?

AT A luncheon in Brisbane on Friday I was told the reason Quade Cooper did not make the Wallabies' train-on squad in Sydney at the weekend was because the Reds' No.10 was heading to the Broncos next year.

Although my source has his ear to the ground and could be deemed reliable, his evidence is mere hearsay.

It's no more accurate than the continuing speculation that Corey Norman will renege on his Parramatta deal.

Add to that the gathering conjecture that Storm five-eighth Gareth Widdop is another option for the much-needed future playmaker at the Broncos - Sharks bad boy Todd Carney is also apparently in the picture - and it seems a torrent of water will flow under the bridge before a final choice is made.

Without doubt the best option would be for Corey Norman to stay at Red Hill.

While many - understandably - might view that an unpalatable result, the ludicrous rule established by the NRL that permits him to change his mind before round 13, softens the ethical boundaries.

Agreeing to join the Eels after protracted negotiations has seemingly lifted a huge weight from the young Norman shoulders.

If his form these past three games is an indication, it's as though someone found a switch, flicked it, and told him to start enjoying playing fullback.

This sudden form surge of Norman must surely be causing consternation at Parramatta who lost Raiders' backrower Josh Papalii under the exact circumstances.

And after what I have seen in the past three rounds, I'm not convinced there is a better option on the market for the Broncos, who have made no secret of the fact they are looking for a playmaker.

Widdop would be my next choice.

He has just turned 24 and - reading between the lines - is keen for a major playmaking role after playing fourth fiddle at Melbourne behind the big three.

And apparently he has been a long-time Broncos fan, so that would be an added lure.

But the left-field possibility is Cooper, who has never been bashful in expressing his eagerness for a crack at rugby league.

And no doubt the successful comeback to the code by his mate Sonny Bill Williams will have whetted his appetite a little more.

The weekend snub surely must make Cooper feel he is unwelcome in rugby, particularly after being fined $60,000 last year and banned for three matches after describing the environment in that code as toxic.

Apart from his sometimes suspect defence, Cooper has all the hallmarks of an exceptional rugby league five-eighth.

But if he can learn the tackling caper as easily as he took to boxing, defence should not be an issue.

Stay tuned.



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