Melbourne Rebels attack coach Morgan Turinui says that they would welcome former Wallabies star Quade Cooper with open arms if he wanted to move there.
Cooper is currently contracted to Toulon in France but has been extensively linked with a move back to Australia.
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika says that he has been trying to get Cooper home but most of the speculation has had Cooper back playing for the Reds again.
Turinui did not confirm whether the Rebels had made an approach to Cooper but he said that the playmaker’s presence in the team could only be a influence.
“I’d like to see Quade playing in Australia. I think all the talented Australian rugby players I want them playing in Australia. I’d love to see him here because of the quality of the player,” he told the ARU Rugby site.
“He’d be great in whatever team he goes to (but) I’d rather play with him than against him, simple as that.”
Former Waratahs centre Turinui has joined the Rebels on a full time basis as an assistant having spent the last month as a consultant.
Turinui said that the current Rebels squad reminds him of the 2011 Reds squad that won a Super Rugby title in that year.
“I see a quite young group, a quite young core of players with a decent amount of super rugby caps behind them, which is a great thing,” he said.
“That Reds 2011 team you could look at them as an example, they were a team that had gone through some tough times but they’ve got experience, they’ve got games under their belt, they’ve played at altitude with tough situations, they’ve gone to New Zealand and played in Hamilton and Christchurch and had tough experiences and had that behind them.
“While they were a young group, they were a talented group, very similar to what i see here they also have that little bit of experience behind them.
Turinui said that he had not personally spoken to Cooper about playing for the Rebels but did praise his growth in maturity on and off the field and said that he would have a strong influence on young playmaker Jack Debreczeni.
“I think he’d be great for the younger guys coming through that I’ve talked about and I think it’d be great to have him in the Super Rugby system,” he said.
“I have had a chat to him mostly about european holiday destinations not so much about rugby thus far. That’s for the higher powers at the decide. ”
“What we want to do in that regard I’d love to see him happy and challenged playing rugby in Australia, wherever that is I’d be happy for him.”