English international Jack Maunder leaning on Quade Cooper advice as he prepares for Rebels adventure

Wed, Nov 22, 2023, 3:45 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Jack Maunder has enlisted the help of Quade Cooper to help him adjust to Rebel life. Photo: Getty Images
Jack Maunder has enlisted the help of Quade Cooper to help him adjust to Rebel life. Photo: Getty Images

New Rebel and English international Jack Maunder has revealed how former Rebel and Wallaby Quade Cooper is helping him prepare for a new challenge in Super Rugby.

The 26-year-old brings a host of experience to Melbourne, playing over 100 caps for Exeter, including guiding them to a European Champions Cup.

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Maunder has been at the Chiefs since a teenager and had visions of Andy Goode (Sharks) and James Haskell (Highlanders) in mind when he committed to the Rebels.

“I’ve been at one club for my whole career and I pigeonholed my game to the club,” he admitted to Rugby.com.au.

“Different clubs have different things they want from their scrum halves and top playmakers so I think the big challenge is making sure I align myself with what ‘Sambo’ (assistant coach Tim Sampson) and Kevin (Foote) all want from me so I’m thinking like a Rebels player and not like an Exeter player.

“I think that’s really exciting because there will be a lot of things that maybe I wouldn’t have been pushed to do at Exeter that I will at the Rebels which is why I wanted to come over just to expand my game, become more of a threat in different areas and upskill my skills.

“...When the opportunity came up, I just couldn’t be more excited for and I feel very fortunate that Kevin (Foote) reached out and I got the opportunity to come to this really exciting club and exciting scene.”

Maunder recognises he will have to quickly adapt to a brand new 'fast and fearless' style of Rugby, a stark contrast from the box-kicking heavy style of Exeter.

This is where the scrumhalf has called on the electric Cooper to help smooth the transition, with the two linking up in May's all-star Barbarians side against the World XV.

The two then played against each other in the Rebels' opening trial in Japan, with Maunder thankful for the opportunity to pick his brain.

“We had a long chat after the Kintesu game and he was awesome to me at the Baa-Baas,” Maunder said about his relationship with the former Rebel. “He was the room opposite me so on the way back from training I’d pick his brain and see what he’d be seeing and what he wanted out of his scrum halves.

“That was an awesome induction to what the philosophy of Rugby in Australia and then after the Kintesu game we chatted about where he thought I’d have to adapt.

“He gave me some awesome, detailed answers so that is really exciting to me to hear about the challenges that are probably going to be put in front of me that season."

It's been six years since Maunder pulled on the England jersey, coming off the bench in the final two minutes against Argentina in 2017.

“Every English person's dream is obviously to (play for the national side) but I’m very much looking at it as I’m a Rebels player and I’m very grateful to be at the Rebels and I’ll give them 100%," he added on aspirations to add a second cap.