Brisbane - Reds captain Samu Kerevi admits axed flyhalf Quade Cooper will be missed but believes new coach Brad Thorn is the right man to take the side forward.
Cooper was a notable omission from Thorn's 2018 Super Rugby squad, along with Wallabies great George Smith and Wallabies utility Karmichael Hunt.
Smith and Hunt were cut for controversial reasons, with the former on 'taxi evasion' and the latter on two charges of drug possession. Smith refused to pay a taxi bill in Japan and ran away. The driver caught up with him only for Smith to physically assault him.
The 37-year-old spent 18 days in jail and was released without charge, only for the news to emerge once he had been released. Hunt, meanwhile, faces court on January 29, and if found guilty, will most probably face the sack.
Meanwhile, Cooper was told last month he would not be in Thorn's plans, despite having two years left on his contract.
Kerevi was tight-lipped about Smith and Hunt but backed Cooper to bounce back to his best.
"It's a tough situation for Quade. He is still training hard in the off-season and that work ethic will help him come back stronger," Kerevi told theSydney Morning Herald.
"We have got some young guys to fill that void, and it is a big void to fill, but Thorny has made that decision on what he believes is best for the team."