Geared up for a big stay in NRL

RUGBY LEAGUE: If Dragons prop Mike Cooper maintains his strong early-season form, rugby league fans can expect to see more of him ... and not just in his first English representative jersey.

Cooper is a company director of a retail business specialising in rugby league and running gear back in his native Warrington, and is hoping to bring his footy products to stores Down Under.

"I started doing that three years ago and it's going unbelievably well," he told APN.

"I've taken a bit of a back seat with that stuff recently after moving out here, but I'm hoping to bring some rugby league gear to Australia in the next few months."

He said his experience so far in Australia suggested he might not be required to go as flat out behind the counter like he would back in England.

"It's a different style of life in Australia, with a different style of pace," Cooper said.

"Me and my partner Katie were waiting for ages for our TV to get serviced.

"But we love it out here.

"We live in Wollongong and people bag it, but it's beautiful. You travel further down the south coast to places like Huskisson and Jervis Bay and they're some of the best beaches I've seen."

Cooper, a former Super League grand finalist and Challenge Cup winner, said while his life off the field was going unbelievably well, things on the field were are also going very well.

"The mood at the Dragons has been great since the pre-season - the boys have been flying since last November," he said.

"We're annoyed at our past two losses, but you saw in our first three games that this team has plenty of attacking flair.

"If we can time our run well towards the finals, we should continue to surprise a few people."

It has always been a goal of Cooper's to play in the NRL, and who better to speak to about that than Adrian Morley, the former Roosters premiership winner who was his captain at Warrington.

"Mozza (Morley), and guys like Joel and Michael Monaghan and Trent Waterhouse said to expect a faster game with quicker play-the-balls, and I think that suits me," Cooper said.

"The big difference is down here it's like playing in a grand final every week - all the teams are so evenly matched."



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