x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

Like Pietersen, Cooper can't stay out of trouble

Even while lying relatively low following the recent storm, Quade Cooper managed to be dragged back into the mire this week.

Australian fly half Quade Cooper.
Australian fly half Quade Cooper.

Some people have an innate ability to rub others the wrong way. And, it seems, such bete noires can be easy to typecast.

Even while lying relatively low following the recent storm, Quade Cooper managed to be dragged back into the mire this week when Richie McCaw's autobiography was released.

"Players like Quade get sorted," the New Zealand captain writes in his book about his long-running feud with the Australia fly-half.

"Sooner or later they get their beans."

Quite. Such as now, with his career in limbo, because it is not easy being him within Australian rugby. A star player with a big ego and itchy Twitter finger slams the team environment, thus making his position as a good as untenable. Where have we heard this one before?

Cooper and cricket's Kevin Pietersen have a lot more in common than simply representing a different country to that in which they were born and having Maori pe'a on their shoulders.

Each is the most watchable player in their respective field when at the peak of their powers. And each has an uncanny knack of engendering mistrust within their own playing ranks - usually via social media - as well as a fair hint of loathing in their country of birth.

Pietersen was also dragged back into a furore which he hoped had passed this week. But at least he has that exciting-sounding process of reintegration to look forward to. Beyond his own rehabilitation, Cooper's future remains cloudy.