Win or lose on Saturday night, Melbourne playmaker Quade Cooper should shake Reds Super Rugby coach Brad Thorn's hand for giving him a real crack at this year's Rugby World Cup, according to former Wallabies fullback Greg Martin.
Cooper returns to Brisbane for his first Super Rugby match against the Reds since his acrimonious departure.
The 30-year-old joined the Rebels this year after being sidelined for an entire season by Thorn, who said the 118-game veteran no longer fitted with their culture.
Martin said Cooper would be welcomed back by the Reds faithful, who would applaud how he used the relegation to club rugby last year to make himself a better player and a better person.
And he had Thorn to thank for that.
"He made a real turnaround last year going back to club footy," Martin told AAP.
"I'm of the belief he should be shaking Brad Thorn's hand after the game and going 'Thanks – you reminded me about humility and to be grateful' because last year changed him as a person.
"Last year made him realise what the game's about and it changed him and it's also made him a better footballer."
While Cooper's high-risk, high-reward plays don't always come off, he's been integral to the Rebels' improved attack, while he's also improved his once flaky defence.
The television commentator and radio host said he would definitely pick him if the Wallabies' World Cup squad was named today.
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