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Quade Cooper sticks with rugby
Mat Mackay, WWOS & AAP
12:00 AEST Fri Dec 7 2012

Quade Cooper and the Australian Rugby Union have finally resolved their differences and the maverick playmaker has signed a new multi-year deal.

Cooper, who made his debut in 2008 against Italy, today re-signed with Australian Rugby through to the end of 2014, with the deal reportedly worth $850,000 per year.

The Reds have played peacemaker in the rocky negotiation process that was on the brink of collapse late last month after the ARU offered a new incentive-based deal.

At the time, Cooper said he would not accept such a deal while his manager, Khoder Nasser, blamed the ARU for a "total communication breakdown".

It was the 38-Test back's own criticism of the Wallabies' "toxic" culture and the state of the code which resulted in the downgraded offer after he failed to sign a more significant deal tabled mid-year.

Cooper's new deal - believed to be for two or three years - isn't expected to prevent him taking part in a charity boxing bout on February 8 - eight days before Queensland kick off their Super Rugby campaign against the Brumbies in Canberra.

The 24-year-old will still be allowed to fight a yet-to-be-named opponent over three three-minute rounds on the undercard of Sonny Bill Williams' heavyweight clash with South African Francois Botha.

A Fairfax Media report says the revised deal is similar to the $800,000 offer that had been taken off the table following his attack on the code in September.

Recovering from knee surgery, Cooper was fined $40,000 for his comments at an ARU code-of-conduct hearing at the time, with $20,000 suspended.

High-level talks between QRU chiefs Jim Carmichael and Rod McCall and ARU officials, including chairman Michael Hawker, have been instrumental in bringing all parties together.

Cooper faces a stiff challenge to win back the faith of coach Robbie Deans and regain the Wallabies No.10 jersey in time for June's three-Test series against the British and Irish Lions.


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