Quade Cooper. Photo by Getty
Australian Rugby Union chief Bill Pulver believes
Wallabies flyhalf Quade Cooper should focus on rugby rather
than building a career in the boxing ring like former All Black
Sonny Bill Williams.
Cooper, who shares the same manager as his friend Williams,
won his first professional fight with a first-round knockout
of an insurance company agent earlier this month, a week
before his Super Rugby season-opener for the Queensland Reds.
"Do I like the fact that one of our Super Rugby players had a
boxing match the week before the first game? In all honesty,
no, not particularly," Pulver said in comments published by
The Australian newspaper.
"Had I been coach of that team, that would not have been my
preference. But that's water under the bridge. There's
nothing I can do about that.
"My preference is those players who are contracted to the ARU
focus on rugby."
New Zealand-born Cooper was ineffectual in the Reds' 24-6
loss to the Canberra-based ACT Brumbies at the weekend and
gifted his opponents a last-minute try with an intercepted
The 24-year-old's first fight, on the undercard for
Williams's bout with South African Francois Botha in
Brisbane, was held as the Reds lost 20-8 in a pre-season
match to the Chiefs, last season's Super Rugby champions.
"Once I go into the ring there's all the lights, all the
cameras - that's where I want to be," Cooper said after his
first foray into the ring, adding that he hoped to have
another fight later this year.