Wallaby playmaker Cooper seals Reds return

Thu, 01 Sep 2016 06:47

NEWS: Maverick flyhalf Quade Cooper has signed a three-year contract with the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) taking him back to the Reds.

The new deal will carry the 28-year-old through until the end of the 2019 World Cup in Japan, the ARU said Thursday.

Cooper played 105 Super Rugby matches from 2007 before moving to European heavyweights Toulon in 2015.

He has also won 59 Test caps for the Wallabies, which included the defeat to the All Blacks last weekend in Wellington, his first full international since last year's World Cup.

Cooper said he had missed Test rugby during his spell in France.

"For me, playing at the highest level for the Wallabies against the best teams in the world, week in, week out is the ultimate.

"Being back in Australia and having the opportunity to play for the Wallabies is something that drives me every day and being around my friends and family in Queensland is equally important for me," he said.

Australia coach Michael Cheika saluted Cooper's move.

"I am very pleased that Quade has decided to return to Australia to play his rugby," Cheika said.

"His return brings back his trademark flair and X-factor but also, after his experience overseas, a wiser approach to the way he can lead the team around the field.

"I really believe he will make a big impact on the game both for Queensland and for the national team."

New Zealand-born Cooper, who has amassed 154 points for the Wallabies since his 2008 debut,  confirmed his departure from Toulon in July, a year after signing from the Reds.

He failed to settle in southern France and struggled to secure a starting spot.

Often considered a great talent, Cooper, who has dabbled in professional boxing during off-seasons, has a controversial past.

He was fined heavily by the ARU in 2012 after describing the atmosphere within the Aussie squad as "toxic".

A year earlier he was accused of deliberately kneeing All Black legend Richie McCaw in the face and has since been booed every match he has played in New Zealand.

Agence France-Presse

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 5 0 7 28
Waratahs 12 4 0 8 19
Force 12 4 0 8 17
Reds 12 3 0 9 16
Rebels 12 1 1 10 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 13 13 0 0 59
Hurricanes 12 10 0 2 48
Highlanders 13 10 0 3 45
Chiefs 12 9 1 2 45
Blues 13 6 1 6 33
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 0 5 34
Cheetahs 13 3 0 10 16
Bulls 12 3 0 9 15
Sunwolves 12 1 0 11 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 13 12 0 1 56
Sharks 13 9 1 3 42
Jaguares 12 5 0 7 24
Kings 12 4 0 8 19