Wallabies first-five Quade Cooper said he would not play for Australia unless changes were made to the "toxic" environment surrounding the team, which he felt was "destroying" him as a "player and as a person".
The 24-year-old has been sidelined for Australia's last two Rugby Championship tests in South Africa and Argentina because of a knee problem but sparked huge controversy with tweets and comments made over the weekend.
Offered the chance to clarify his position on Thursday in an interview with Fox Sports, with whom he has a contract, Cooper said he would not play for Australia or sign a new deal with the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) unless improvements were made.
When asked if he would play for the Wallabies if he was picked in the side, Cooper said he would not.
"No, like I said, it's the environment there at the moment is one that I don't feel comfortable in and if I don't feel comfortable and if I don't feel that I can give 100 per cent for my country and that yellow jersey, that's a very big problem," he said.
"For me to improve as a player and as a person, you want to be in the best possible environment. I feel that environment is destroying me as a person and as a player so I can't do my best to represent myself, my country and my friends to the best of my ability."
Whether the Wallabies' environment is what's destroying Cooper "as a person and as a player" is open to debate. But as we suggested earlier in the week, we reckon that his management has a bit to do with it as well; her certainly seems to be suffering from a bout of the Khoder Nasser Effect.
Quade Cooper needs to remember the old motivational maxim that there's no "I" in team. He certainly seems to be determined to burn his bridges with the ARU, because contrary to what his manager is probably telling him, he's NOT bigger than the game of rugby.
Quade Cooper's publicly-aired discontent has been (in our ever-humble opinion) ill-advised and poorly executed. It seems highly likely that Cooper is about to find out that the game is a whole lot bigger than him and his manager, and that there will be no "Quade" in team either; for some time to come.