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Rugby Union

Quade Cooper 'quits' Wallabies

Controversial flyhalf reportedly rejects contract offer by Australian Rugby Union in a move linking him to rugby league.
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2012 15:46
Cooper has not played for Australia since describing the team environment as 'toxic' in September - a comment which led the ARU to hand him a record fine last month [GALLO/GETTY]

Wallaby fly-half Quade Cooper is set to walk away from the Australian Rugby Union in fury over a contract offer from the governing body, reports said on Monday.

Television and newspaper reports said Cooper was upset after only being offered match payments by the ARU, as opposed to an annual sum as part of his contract.

Late Monday neither the ARU nor the Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) had been informed by Cooper or his agent that he intended tearing up his three-year Super Rugby deal with the Reds which would take him through to the 2015 World Cup.

"The ARU has had no communication with Quade Cooper or his management," an ARU spokesman told Australian Associated Press.

"Any question regarding Quade Cooper's future should be directed to Quade's management."

Cooper's agent Khoder Nasser told AAP by text message that the 38-Test fly-half would hold a press conference early next week.

Cooper led the Queensland Reds to the 2011 Super Rugby title and has been linked in the past with a switch of codes to Australia's National Rugby League.

But he received one of the ARU's biggest contracts a year ago.

Record fine

The reports came after Cooper, 24, was hit with the biggest fine in Australian rugby history.

He made headlines in September when he lashed out on social media at a "toxic" environment within the national squad and the defensive style of Wallabies' coach Robbie Deans, further stoking speculation that he would defect to rugby league.

The outspoken fly-half also said he did not feel he could play for Australia at the time.

Last month Cooper was fined $41,000, plus a further $20,000 suspended for two years, and given a suspended three-match ban for the comments.

After a code of conduct hearing he apologised for his behaviour, which he admitted fell below Wallabies' standards.

Despite his reported falling out with the ARU, Queensland Reds officials said they were still confident their star playmaker would honour his three-year contract with them.

"I still genuinely believe he's an important asset to the game moving forward but it's up to Quade and the ARU where they're happy to move on," Reds' chief executive Jim Carmichael said.

"It's frustrating, that's for sure."

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Source:
AFP
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