Cooper, Horn hit back at keyboard warriors
RUGBY UNION: Quade Cooper has come out swinging at keyboard warriors who throw barbs at the care factor within the Wallabies with no idea of the hard slog being put in.
The long-time Wallaby said today he found inspiration in boxing underdog Jeff Horn yet had only scorn for cheap snipes from rugby's armchair critics.
The low blows have rained on the Wallabies since angry fan Jack Quigley's viral Facebook post berated the team's sloppy 24-19 loss to Scotland last weekend.
"I'm not saying it (criticism) is unfair ...and to see passion from fans is great," Cooper said.
"But it's easy for people to sit behind a keyboard and throw barbs and tell you that you're not doing your job.
"You see it across all walks of life when people are giving everything and I've no respect for it."
Coach Michael Cheika had admirably phoned Quigley for a heart-to-heart on Monday after the Wallaby fan's anger at the misfiring team had gathered an army of 42,000-plus believers.
Quigley had slated the Wallabies for "quite literally hurting people with your lack of application to your jobs" in a Facebook post that has gone viral.
Horn is in the final phase of heavy training before tapering for his world title showdown against boxing legend Manny Pacquiao at Suncorp Stadium on July 2.
Horn stood beside Cooper as the Wallabies' back-up flyhalf threw a few well-aimed jabs of his own in Brisbane today ahead of Saturday's Test against Italy.
"Imagine a fight like Jeff has ahead," Cooper said.
"If he goes down and loses, people throwing barbs would be unfair because of all the work he's put in.
"When he wins that fight, he'll be able to stand tall, stand proud.
"He's a great inspiration to others but there'd still be people sitting back saying 'Manny was old'.
"I've got no respect for that but I have a lot of respect for people who stick with you throughout the ride, the ups and downs.
"The boys are working hard. Losing is a part of professional sport and I can tell you we want to get trophies and put them in the cabinet."
Cooper said Horn's challenge against one of boxing's greatest fitted the Wallabies own mindset.
"He has a massive challenge ahead fighting Manny and that's like us as footballers with a massive challenge ahead each week," Cooper said.
"It's Italy this week and later the All Blacks for the Bledisloe Cup."
Cooper's own part-time boxing career gave him special admiration for Horn, who knows what it's like to be picked on from his school days before the ring.
"It is easy for those behind the keyboards when they don't know what it's like to do all that hard work and then just miss out," Horn said.
"You're not getting smashed, you're not getting flogged, just missing.
"If you keep staying true to yourself and plugging away you'll get there in the end."