Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Cooper handed fine and suspended ban

Wallabies playmaker Quade Cooper has apologised to fans and admitted he let Australian rugby union down after being fined and handed a suspended ban for two disciplinary breaches.

The Australian and Queensland number 10 received a 60,000 Australian dollars (£38,700) punishment and also a three-match ban - the ban being suspended for two years - following a four-and-a-half-hour meeting at ARU headquarters in Sydney on Wednesday.

Cooper will pay two-thirds of the fine immediately, with the rest suspended for two years. His penalty followed several controversial Twitter messages and comments in the media, including a claim the Wallabies set-up was "toxic". "It was a very fair hearing and I'm happy with the outcome and sentence handed to me," the 24-year-old said.

"I have full respect for that. I understand I fell well below par of what it means to be a Wallaby. For all the supporters who are out there, my apologies. I want to focus on the future and moving forward I am determined to restore the faith people have placed in me.

"My passion for representing my country is very strong and I am focused on having a strong year next year and putting my hand up for selection in the Wallabies squad. I am very much looking forward to overcoming my injury and getting back out on the field."

Cooper entered the hearing, held before an independent three-man panel, supported by Queensland coach Ewen McKenzie and two legal representatives. Wallabies coach Robbie Deans was also present.

After hearing evidence from all parties, the panel fined Cooper 10,000 Australian dollars (£6,450) for an adverse tweet he made on September 22 regarding an ARU licensed product.

He was fined 50,000 Australian dollars (£32,250), of which 20,000 dollars (£12,900) was suspended, for subsequent comments regarding the Wallabies set-up. His three-match suspended ban covers Super Rugby and international matches.

ARU deputy Matt Carroll indicated his organisation would step up contract negotiations with Cooper now the hearing had concluded.

Cooper comes off contract at the end of the year and has been linked with a move to rugby league.


From Belfast Telegraph