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Cooper to 'kiss & make up' with ARU

Thu, 06 Dec 2012 08:26
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Reds played peacemaker
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Mercurial Wallaby playmaker Quade Cooper and the Australian Rugby Union are expected to reveal on Friday that they have 'kissed and made up'.

This follows months of an acrimonious public spat between the controversial player and his employers - which resulted in him being find and initially offered a reduced contract, after he accused coach Robbie Deans of fostering a 'toxic' environment in the national team.

The Australia media are reporting that Cooper is expected to front a media conference in Brisbane on Friday, where he will announce that he is staying in Australian Rugby Union, after accepting a revised two-year deal from the ARU.

The deal is believed to be similar to the AU$800,000 offer the ARU took off the table following his public criticism of the game and the atmosphere in the Wallabies camp.

Cooper was hit with a record AU$40,000 fine for the comments and virtually forced out of the code in Australia after being offered an ARU contract comprising of match payments and a AU$100,000 bonus if he was to start in 60 percent of Tests for the Wallabies next year.

At the time, Cooper said he would not accept such a deal while his manager, Khoder Nasser, blamed the ARU for a "total communication breakdown".

He had already agreed to a three-year deal with Queensland, worth about AU$400,000 per season, but the Reds contract could not be activated unless he accepted the ARU offer and had been set to quit Australian rugby union.

However, QRU chairman Jim Carmichael has worked closely with his ARU counterpart Michael Hawker to prepare a deal acceptable for Cooper to stay and the 23-year-old playmaker is understood to have rejected a lucrative offer from France.

Cooper's new deal - believed to be for two or three years - isn't expected to prevent him taking part in a charity boxing bout on February 8 - eight days before Queensland kick off their Super Rugby campaign against the Brumbies in Canberra.

The 24-year-old will still be allowed to fight a yet-to-be-named opponent over three three-minute rounds on the undercard of Sonny Bill Williams' heavyweight clash with South African Francois Botha.

Sources: AAP & Canberra Times

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