Reds can cope without Cooper

11 February 2012 12:40:06 EST

Reds coach Ewen McKenzie has rubbished reports that he is looking to make significant tactical changes due to the absence of injured playmaker Quade Cooper.

The Super Rugby champions will be without the services of their star man for at least the opening six matches of the upcoming season, as Cooper is still recovering from his anterior cruciate ligament injury, which he picked up in last year's Rugby World Cup.

The Reds are 6/4 o be the top Australian team this season, while the Brumbies are 1/2.

Cooper struggled to make an impact in the World Cup but he was one of the best Super Rugby players last season and the Reds were counting on him to be a major part of their title defence before he injured his knee.

But McKenzie says that his team is not reliant on anyone for success and believes that they will be fine in Cooper's absence.

"We used 37 players to get the job done last year so it wasn't like we were relying on one player ... I don't think we have to move away from our philosophy," McKenzie said in a recent interview.

"Sure, we got great value out of Will (Genia) and Quade, they were there every week, but every team knows it's the next guy and the next guy after that, they're the ones that ultimately end up making a difference for you across a season.

"The x-factor doesn't always have to reside in one player ... and we've got some good young guys coming through that back themselves and fancy themselves, so we'll give them the big stage and see what they've got."

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