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Brumbies quiz ARU over Cooper deal

Quade Cooper after announcing he is staying with the Queensland Reds and rugby union, but will start his boxing career a week before the Super Rugby season.

Quade Cooper after announcing he is staying with the Queensland Reds and rugby union, but will start his boxing career a week before the Super Rugby season. Photo: Getty Images

The ACT Brumbies fear Quade Cooper's boxing bout just eight days before the Super Rugby season will set a dangerous precedent for contract dealings and will ask the ARU if the five-eighth's stint in the ring will count towards the Queensland Reds' salary cap.

Cooper re-signed with the Australian Rugby Union on Friday on what is believed to be a beefed-up deal worth $800,000.

But a week before the Brumbies begin their Super season against the Reds at Canberra Stadium next year, Cooper will be allowed to jump in the ring for his boxing debut on February 8. Cooper will fight on the undercard of Sonny Bill Williams' bout with Francois Botha.

The Canberra Times understands the Brumbies have sought clarification to see if Cooper's boxing earnings would be included with his Queensland deal. There are strict third-party earnings regulations with rugby contracts.

The Brumbies are concerned allowing Cooper to be paid outside of his Reds and ARU duties will open the door for players to seek similar earning opportunities.

In the past, the Wallabies have refused to pick players not based in Australia, but it appears the ARU is prepared to let Cooper compete in another sport just days before the Super Rugby competition begins.

Cooper's negotiations with the ARU had stalled and the Wallabies star publicly criticised Australia coach Robbie Deans for the ''toxic'' environment within the team. He was fined, and then walked away from rugby to announce his boxing debut. Finally, he turned his back on a lucrative French deal before committing to continuing with the Reds and Wallabies.

The 24-year-old will get a brutal welcoming in Canberra on February 16, just eight days after absorbing body blows in the ring. Brumbies coach Jake White said the unusual preparation would be a distraction for the Reds.

Queensland will already be without Will Genia, who has had knee surgery, and Cooper could be on limited duties. ''I would find it extremely difficult to lose a guy like him [Cooper] for periods of time in the build-up to a competition,'' White said. ''There's no way it can be beneficial.

''It's not an attack, but we got some good rewards for having the same squad every week last year with a relatively inexperienced team and I'd imagine the Reds would love to have Cooper around leading into the season.

''I'm sure if [Reds coach] Ewen [McKenzie] could, he would have his team there all the time.''

Cooper was on the verge of walking away from Australian rugby last month when his management was at loggerheads with the ARU.

He had already committed to a three-year deal with the Reds, but negotiations on his ARU contract prevented him from doing anything. Despite his outburst against the Wallabies' team culture, he is still viewed as one of the most dangerous players in the world and will be vital to Australia's hopes of success against the British and Irish Lions next year.

''I think it's fantastic [Cooper's] staying in the game, we need to keep guys like him,'' White said. ''Having someone like Sonny Bill Williams going to rugby league is not a good thing for our code.

''Having Quade recommit to rugby is great because he does draw a crowd, it doesn't matter what people think of him because he brings people to watch the game.''

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00Olym
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00Olym
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45Olym
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45Olym
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00Olym
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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