NRL: Quade Cooper eyeing short-term rugby league stint to fulfill 'lifelong dream'

Quade Cooper is looking to take his "lifelong dream" to the next level, when he meets with NRL clubs in the coming weeks. 

The NZ-born Australian rugby international has recently reiterated his desire to play the 13-man code and hopes to sign a short-term contract before the end of the currently halted season. 

Cooper is committed to fulfilling his deal with Japanese rugby club Kintetsu Liners, but the season isn't scheduled to start until December.

The NRL deadline day for 2020 player contracts is June 30, but due to the current COVID-19 crisis, that may be extended.

Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, Cooper hopes Kintetsu will grant him permission to pursue a brief flirtation with the rival code. 

"If they [Kintetsu] said that they don't mind me going to the NRL for that short three or four-month season to do something I've always wanted to achieve, then mate, I'd jump at the opportunity to fulfil a dream that I've had since I was a kid. 

"The way things are kind of working out, it could be one where all the stars align."

Which clubs, if any, would be interested in securing the talents of the gaudy 32-year-old remains to be seen, but reports suggest the Gold Coast Titans are keen to meet with Cooper.

Head of football Mal Meninga is a long-time admirer of Cooper's skillset and confirmed to the Sydney Morning Herald they would be open to signing the former Wallabies first-five.

"We'd discuss it, for sure, and see what we think," Meninga said. "There's no doubt he has the skill there. 

"Any of the union guys - especially the backs - who are brought up on league, can make the transition. There is a gamble there, because ideally, you'd want him to have a pre-season, because you can't play him in reserve grade.

"You'd have to throw him straight in. You don't want someone like that to come to a club and fail. 

"We'll probably have to wait and see what sort of money we have to spend on the salary cap as well, but we'll talk about it."

Quade Cooper in action for the Wallabies
Quade Cooper in action for the Wallabies Photo credit: Getty

And Cooper is up for the challenge, despite not having played rugby league in 15 years.

"I'd love that," Cooper said. "That's the thing, going in there and jumping straight into it, I'd back myself. 

"When I played my first game for the Reds, I was in grade 12 and Eddie [Jones] took me over to Japan, and we played against the Japanese international team.

"I literally went from playing against school kids to an international team. If you're going to learn, you're going to learn pretty quickly being thrown in there.

"Jumping out on a rugby league field, it would be one of those things that I know that I would do well in terms of your effort, your skill, your ability. 

"And the stage? That's what you want as an athlete, to play on those stages and challenges. 

"The unknown is one of those things that is kind of scary, but exciting at the same time."

Cooper, a long-time friend of cross-code swapper Sonny Bill Williams, would be willing to play any back position assigned to him, but he would prefer a crack in the halves. 

"I reckon six would be my best position. Theoretically, I could play fullback or in the centres, but fullback is a bit of a specialist position in the game, especially with the high balls and bringing the ball back. 

"For me, my biggest strength in the game is my ball skills and my communication skills, driving people around the field."

The NRL has signalled its intentions to resume the competition on May 28.