Reds still on hunt for Cooper replacement

The Queensland Reds are still on the hunt for an experienced five-eighth to replace Quade Cooper despite the re-signing of young pair Jake McIntyre and Sam Greene.

The 21-year-olds, who both debuted late in this year’s Super Rugby season, were two of six youngsters to sign on with the Super Rugby franchise on Wednesday.

But coach Richard Graham says there’s no suggestion the inexperienced duo will be given the task of filling the void left by Wallaby Cooper’s departure.

After McIntyre and Greene’s rise from the Reds academy to Super Rugby, Graham says both are deserving of new deals but the hunt for a more experienced No.10 will continue.

“We’re certainly looking at other options as a 10 at this stage,” Graham told AAP.

“It’s like anything in the squad, particularly when there’s a salary cap, you can employ so much experience but then you need to look at succession plans and a lot of that succession planning is young kids.

“The two guys have performed really well and we back both of those young kids moving into our program next year.”

The departure of former All Black Adam Thomson to Melbourne means the Reds have a vacant international marquee spot available for next year.

Veteran French five-eighth Frederic Michalak has been reported as a possibility for the Reds.

Michalak previously spent two separate stints at South African Super Rugby franchise the Sharks and has an Australian wife.

But Graham says the overseas option is just one of many that the Reds are contemplating.

“You’d be foolish to close off anything at this point in time,” he said.

“We’ve been in discussion with a number of players and for us, obviously, it’s being able to come to an agreement with the person that we think is the best fit for the organisation.

“Best fit can mean a number of things. The amount of time they can spend at the organisation. Where they are in their career. What they can offer the organisation. What level they’re at at the moment. It can mean all of those things.”

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