Australian Rugby
Cooper strikes peace deal with ARU
ESPN Staff
December 6, 2012
Australia's Quade Cooper dodges a tackle, Australia v Argentina, Rugby Championship, Skilled Park, Gold Coast, Australia, September 15, 2012
Quade Cooper appears to have resolved his differences with the Australian Rugby Union and agreed on a new contract © PA Photos

Quade Cooper has reportedly settled his long-running dispute with the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) and signed a new 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. In a bid to secure Cooper's services, his Super Rugby employers have reportedly acted as peacemakers in a bid to settle the six-month saga.

A Fairfax Media report says the revised deal, thought to be for two or three years, is similar to the A$800,000 (£520,000) offer that had been taken off the table following his controversial comments in September. The agreement is also expected to allow Cooper to continue with his recently revealed plans to pursue a boxing career alongside his rugby commitments.

It is thought that the possibility of featuring for the Wallabies during next year's series against the British & Irish Lions was pivotal in negotiations but Cooper faces a battle to force his way back into coach Robbie Deans' plans ahead of the first Test on June 22.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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