Queensland Reds playmaker Quade Cooper has hinted lawmakers should investigate some defensive tactics after a crusher tackle injured his neck in a trial.
There are no hard feelings towards the Melbourne Rebels but Quade Cooper has hinted rugby’s lawmakers should investigate outlawing some tackles already banned by league after “one of the scariest moments” of his career.
A stiff and sore Cooper on Tuesday confirmed he would play in the Queensland Reds’ Super Rugby season opener against the Brumbies in Canberra on Saturday night, after completing a second session since the trial match tackle that sent him to hospital.
Scans cleared Cooper of damage after he copped a heavy tackle by bulky Rebels back-rower Lopeti Timani and was stretchered off on Friday night.
“I don’t harbour any hard feelings towards any of the Rebels for the way they played the game, they played with great physicality,” Cooper said.
“That’s what you sign up for when you play rugby.
“There was a bit of a crusher tackle about it, but at the end of the day freak accidents happen all the time – I am happy I came out unscathed.”
But asked if officials should look at banning crusher-type tackles, Cooper said: “There are always areas that can be investigated.
“Rugby league have really cracked down on those sorts of tackles.
“They have taken out the shoulder charge which has helped in bringing down the concussion rate.
“I think there are only rules about lifting tackles in rugby.
“You can chicken wing, crusher tackle. I don’t think there is anything stopping you from doing that – (but) that’s for other people to look at.”
The NRL have this year stepped up a campaign to eliminate the crusher tackle, where a tackled player’s head and neck are pressured so much that their neck usually comes in contact with the chest.
New Zealand Warriors utility Dominique Peyroux will miss the NRL opening round after pleading guilty to a crusher tackle during a trial match against the Gold Coast this month.
“At the end of the day we are the ones playing the game and if we thought there was too much risk we wouldn’t be playing the game,” Cooper said.
“You can’t rule everything out. You just have to get on with it.”
Still, Cooper admits he feared he may never have play again as he was taken away by ambulance on Friday night.
“It was one of the scariest moments of my footy career,” he said.
“In the ambulance thinking I may never get the chance to play again put life in perspective and that you should never take anything for granted.”
Cooper wore neck strapping at training on Tuesday but the Wallabies vice-captain ruled out wearing any protective gear against the Brumbies.
“I am not a big fan of strapping. I don’t feel comfortable,” he said.
“Medically I have got the all clear. It is up to me and I am 100 per cent (certain he can play).”