Cooper fined and handed ban

2012-10-31 09:46
Quade Cooper (AFP)

Sydney - Outspoken Australian flyhalf Quade Cooper was on Wednesday fined A$60 000 and banned for three games for bringing the game into disrepute by criticising the Wallabies and coach Robbie Deans.

Cooper, 24, made headlines last month when he lashed out on social media at the "toxic" environment within the national squad and the defensive style of Deans, also stoking speculation he would defect to rugby league.

He repeated his grievances on a television programme less than a week later, saying he did not want to be involved with the Wallabies under the current regime because it was "destroying" him as a player and a person.

Cooper, currently sidelined with a knee injury, was hauled before a disciplinary hearing to explain himself on Wednesday and slapped with a fine and a ban.

The three-match ban was suspended as was $20 000 of the $60 000 fine on the proviso that Cooper be of good behaviour for the next two years - meaning he will be available for national selection once he recovers from his knee injury.

The Reds playmaker was contrite.

"It was a very fair hearing and I was very happy with the outcome," Cooper told reporters.

"Obviously, the sentence that has been handed to me, I have full respect for that and I understand that I fell well below par in what it means to be a Wallaby... my apologies," he added.

"From now on, I'm just looking forward to the future - hopefully having a big year, with not only my state but the Wallabies."

Cooper's Super Rugby coach Ewen McKenzie said earlier this week that the polarising flyhalf wanted to put the dramas behind him and win back the Wallabies' No 10 jersey to help defeat the British and Irish Lions in 2013.

Read more on:    wallabies  |  quade cooper  |  rugby

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