Cooper praises Cheetahs' play

Cape Town - Reds playmaker Quade Cooper has praised the Cheetahs for the brand of rugby they have played this season.

Cooper, speaking to the Volksblad website, said the Cheetahs remind him a lot of his early playing days at the Reds.

The Wallaby flyhalf feels their opponents for Saturday's Super Rugby clash in Bloemfontein have found the right balance between when to take chances and when to be conservative.

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"I definitely have a soft spot for the Cheetahs and they way they play. I like their playing style. It reminds me of our team a few years back. We also played exciting rugby, but didn't win a lot of matches.

"You can see they've worked really hard at their game and lowered their error-count. That's how you change your team from a competitive one to one that wins more than it loses."

Cooper, who believes it's tough to analyse the Cheetahs' game due to their unpredictability, singled out winger Willie le Roux as a special player.

“Willie le Roux star player in the making," said Cooper.

Cooper has a point to prove in the rest of the competition after he was last month left out of a 30-man preliminary Wallabies squad ahead of the British and Irish Lions tour.

The 25-year-old was fined A$60 000 and banned for three games last October for bringing the game into disrepute by criticising Australia coach Robbie Deans. He made headlines when he lashed out on social media at the "toxic" environment within the national squad and the defensive style of the coach.

Deans, however, said exclusion from the latest Wallaby squad does not rule players out of participation in the Lions Test series.

The clash at the Free State Stadium kicks off at 19:10 on Saturday night.