Rugby: Cooper set to quit

Quade Cooper
Quade Cooper
Controversial five-eighth Quade Cooper has reportedly quit the Wallabies and the Australian Rugby Union and may pursue a career overseas or in rugby league.

According to Australian broadcaster Channel Nine, New Zealand-born Cooper made the move after being offered an incentive-only based contract by the ARU.

The ARU reportedly told Cooper two weeks ago he would receive only match payments from next season.

Cooper had already indicated he would remain with the Queensland Reds for a further three seasons, but the ARU part of that contract is still to be completed.

While the ARU and Cooper's camp would not comment tonight , the Queensland Rugby Union reiterated it was confident he would honour his contract with the Reds.

But to play Super Rugby in 2013, Cooper must sign some form of ARU documentation otherwise he will not be registered for Queensland.

The French rugby union competition and the NRL are among the potential destinations for the 24-year-old.

Cooper is no stranger to controversy.

In September the 38-test player vented his frustrations at the "toxic" Wallabies environment and his relationship with coach Robbie Deans via social media.

Those outbursts earned him two fines totalling $60,000 and a three-match suspension.

After a marathon session of more than four hours at ARU headquarters in North Sydney, the three-man panel fined Cooper $10,000 for comments on social media about an ARU-licensed product on September 22.

The other fine was $50,000 - $20,000 of which is suspended for two years - for his comments on social media and in the mainstream media.

Cooper was also banned for three matches, suspended for two years.

At the end of the code of conduct hearing, the Reds playmaker apologised for his behaviour, which he admitted fell below Wallabies standards.

The bad boy of Australian rugby is also unpopular with New Zealand fans for what was seen as a cheap shot on All Blacks captain Richie McCaw - a knee to the head during a game in Brisbane last year.

Born and raised in Tokoroa, Cooper shifted to Australia when he was 15; he chose the Wallabies despite overtures from the NZRU to come home in his late teens and commit to the All Blacks.


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