Cooper defends Super League

Mike Cooper says Jamie Soward‘s description of Super League being 10 years behind the NRL is off the mark.

Cooper has just returned to the UK with Warrington after three years with St George Illawarra.

At the Dragons the prop established himself as a starting player and a key figure at the club.

“I think it’s an unfair comment to make, especially when he was given a lifeline at London really,” Cooper told Love Rugby League.

“It’s a poor show from his point of view, as opinionated person as he is and he’s in the media he’s entitled to his own opinion and my opinion is different.

“I don’t think we’re 10 years behind at all we’re just a totally different game, we’re more of an attacking game, we throw the ball around.

“Also look at what our forwards are doing in Australia.

“You take the big two players we’ve had who’ve been successful, James Graham and Sam Burgess, two players who offload, two players who pass the ball, two players that can play like halfbacks and that’s all from over here the way we are taught to play.

“People forget that. Add Josh Hodgson and there’s three standout players in the NRL straight away.

“A lot of English players go over there and do the same thing, the problem is we haven’t got the strength in depth.

“We’ve not got millions and millions of dollars invested in players. They’ve got kids that are 16 on big money, we haven’t got all of that.”

In 2017 nine English players will ply their trade in the NRL.

Cooper said the Australian competition and Super League are different, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

“I think that shows Soward’s knowledge of the global game and he’s just looking at Australia is the best this, that and the other,” the Warrington front-rower said.

“I don’t agree with him. There’s some things in Australia in the system where you’re making them into superstars before they’ve played first-grade.

“I noticed that as well that these kids are getting a lot of attention at a young age and it’s tough to back that up.

“They are completely different games, there’ been a lot of NRL players come to Super League who haven’t performed, they’ve not been able to hack it.

“It’s a different game. Something we need to do in England is we shouldn’t be chasing their tail all the time we should have our own brand of football and see where we go.”

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