Australia

Cooper walk-out rocks Wallabies

Mon, 19 Nov 2012 09:04
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Cooper offered a rookie contract
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Controversial Wallaby flyhalf Quade Cooper has reportedly dropped a major bomb by walking out on Australian rugby.

According to Channel Nine news the injured No.10 has turned his back on the Australian Rugby Union and the Wallabies and will look to continue his career overseas or switch to Rugby League.

Cooper has a Super Rugby contract with Queensland, but according to the Channel Nine report that agreement is contingent upon a contract with the game's governing body.

Late Monday neither the ARU nor the Queensland Rugby Union 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 the 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 flyhalf would hold a press conference early next week.

The controversial playmaker has been at odds with the ARU for several months over his comment on the Wallabies set-up, including claims of a "toxic" environment under coach Robbie Deans.

Three weeks ago Cooper was hit with a AU$40,000 fine and a suspended playing ban in a code-of-conduct hearing into his comments.

Reports on Monday of Cooper's decision to leave Australian rugby behind came after he was only offered an incentive-based contract by the ARU, of the kind usually reserved for international rookies.

Despite his reported fall-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."

If Cooper has indeed quit rugby, speculation is now growing on where his next destination will be.

Cooper could play Rugby Union abroad, perhaps Europe or Japan, but Rugby League is touted as another option.

Cooper may even take up boxing, following a similar path as fellow Kiwi-born superstar and close friend Sonny Bill Williams.

Judging by his tweeting activity recently, boxing might not be such an outlandish suggestion.

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