Australian Rugby
Cooper commits future to Australian rugby
ESPN Staff
December 7, 2012
Australia's Quade Cooper issues some instruction, New Zealand v Australia, Rugby Championship, Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand, August 25, 2012
Quade Cooper has penned a new deal to stay in Australian rugby © Getty Images
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Quade Cooper has settled his long-running dispute with the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) and has signed a new two-year contract.

Cooper appeared to jeopardise his playing future earlier this year when he labelled the Wallabies' environment as "toxic" - an outburst that saw the ARU withdraw a contract offer and the player handed a hefty fine and threatened with a further three-match suspension.

An incentive-based deal was later tabled by the ARU but rejected by Cooper with his manager Khoder Nasser subsequently revealing that there had been "a total communication breakdown" with the governing body.

The 24-year-old playmaker, who is currently battling back from a knee injury, signed a new three-year contract with the Reds earlier this year but that deal was dependent on a new agreement with the ARU. And that has now been signed with the ARU's acting CEO Matt Carroll delighted with Cooper's decision.

"This means Quade Cooper and the Reds can now focus entirely on the upcoming 2013 Super Rugby season," Carroll said. "Quade can now look forward to getting back on the field next year and playing for the Reds and in turn stake his claim for re-selection in the Wallabies squad.

"Next year is an exciting year for Australian Rugby with the British & Irish Lions venturing to our shores for the first time since 2001. Agreeing to terms for a further two years provides Quade with an opportunity to take on one of the world's most iconic Rugby teams. It is an opportunity I am sure he is looking forward to as a Reds player and potentially as a Wallaby."

Carroll's sentiments were echoed by Queensland Rugby president Jim Carmichael. "The ARU has shown great support to bring this to a point where we have the right decision for the game, one of rugby's real talents and Quade's future," Carmichael told the Courier Mail. "Where there might not have been trust and understanding a few months ago, there has been positive dialogue and everyone working towards the same thing.

"I know Quade is in a really good place with what he wants to achieve for the Wallabies, as well as Queensland."

Cooper's deal is worth a reported AUS$800,000 (£522,000), according to the Courier Mail, a season and he hopes to break back into the Wallabies set-up sooner rather than later. There were reports that he has recently failed to see eye-to-eye with coach Robbie Deans but Cooper does not see an issue with the Australia boss.

"He's the coach. It (their relationship) is not something I have to improve," Cooper said. "His job is to coach and get the best out of the team. My first goal is to get back out there for Queensland and then if I play well the opportunity will arise to play for my country. It is a big year coming up."

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