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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 ...

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.''

HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
ENG 60vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 23vs WAL 19 Stats
NZL 62vs FRA 13 Report Stats
IRE 20vs ARG 43 Report Stats
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 35vs SCO 34 Stats
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 18vs NZL 20 Stats
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 15vs AUS 29 Stats
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 24vs ARG 13 Stats
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NZL 34vs AUS 17 Stats
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
USA 4 0 4 0 -106 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
View all

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