One former player who attended the Dragons’ 2010 premiership reunion admitted it was a “shame” that Matt Cooper was absent amid a series of cryptic tweets from the 43-year-old.
Cooper took to social media on the weekend to apologise for not attending the event, which saw a host of the club’s former premiership heroes come together at Randwick.
According to The Daily Telegraph, Mark Gasnier, Brett Morris, Beau Scott, Michael Weyman Trent Merrin Ben Creagh, Jason Nightingale, Ben Hornby and Jamie Soward all were present.
Premiership-winning coach Wayne Bennett, meanwhile, even made the trip down from Queensland as he looks to prepare the NRL’s newest franchise — the Dolphins — for their first season in the league.
Stream Over 50 Sports Live & On-Demand with Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >
Walters chasing Broncos hooker role | 01:43
Cooper though was nowhere to be seen, having wrote on Twitter on Saturday: “I want to apologise to my 2010 premiership team for not attending the 10-12 year reunion”.
“The reason why I did not attend was I didn’t want to make a scene and ruin a special occasion … knowing former CEO and a player who did not even play in the game were going to be there,” he added.
Cooper later added that he had sent the tweet because it was “my only way to let the players know why I wasn’t there” but did not want to divulge why he was absent.
“With the ‘why’, it has to do with what happened to me when I retired, I’m not ready to share that right now, but the truth will come out next year,” he wrote.
While it is unclear what exactly Cooper is referring to it does appear to involve former club CEO Peter Doust.
When told by one fan to “be the bigger man and ignore said people”, Cooper replied: “Not if you knew what Doust did to me.”
Get all the latest NRL news, highlights and analysis delivered straight to your inbox with Fox Sports Sportmail. Sign up now!
The Telegraph spoke to a few of the former players in attendance, with one admitting they were “a bit shocked but more saddened” by his absence.
“It was noticed that ‘Coops’ wasn’t there,” one said.
“He obviously has his issues with Doust. I’m not sure which player he was referring to in his tweet.
“There were a few players there that played with us that season but didn’t play in the grand final.”
Another player told The Telegraph it was “just a shame” that Cooper was not there for the reunion.
Cooper was critical of the club earlier in the season when a report claimed just three players attended the Dragons’ end-of-year awards night, writing on Twitter: “I can’t believe 3 players went to the #redv awards night!!! Actually I can!”.
“The club has no loyalty and honour anymore. That all stopped when Wayne Bennett left,” he added.
‘ALL BUT DONE’: Cook reveals new Souths deal after club rejects three-year extension
TRANSFER CENTRE: Bulldogs sign banished NRL star after doping ban
GOAT DEBATE: How Nathan Cleary compares to the best halfbacks of all time