Quade Cooper ordered to have counselling - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Quade Cooper ordered to have counselling

18/12/2009 07:51:32 PM Comments (0)

Wallabies star Quade Cooper's career remains in limbo after he was told he could train but not play and will face a rugby disciplinary tribunal once court proceedings over his burglary charge are complete.

Cooper has been ordered to undergo counselling before he can play again for Queensland or Australia, with his progress to be reviewed in February, the month the new Super 14 season kicks off.

But in the meantime, the 21-year-old will be allowed to train with the Reds when he returns from leave in mid-January.

Cooper was charged following an alleged incident on the Gold Coast earlier this month and faces a committal hearing in July.

A Queensland Rugby Union disciplinary tribunal will address his off-field behaviour once court proceedings are complete.

ARU boss John O'Neill has previously taken a dim view of player misbehaviour and tore up the contract of Wallaby Lote Tuqiri this year for an undisclosed reason but reportedly after the winger had reached "three strikes".

Cooper could also be looking at a third strike after he was fined $10,000 by the ARU earlier this year when a taxi window was broken in Brisbane and was disciplined again after a food fight in Canberra.

The Australian and Queensland Rugby Unions released a statement on Friday afternoon saying Cooper's "extensive personal development and counselling program ... is aimed at addressing a number of off-field issues".

"The court process needs to take its course and Quade is entitled to the presumption of innocence," ARU high performance general manager David Nucifora said in the statement.

"What we are talking about here in terms of personal development and counselling relates to the fact that Quade has had a number of off-field issues during the past year.

"The QRU and ARU agreed that collectively we need to impose on Quade an action plan that he must now adhere to as part of his ongoing employment, and Quade has agreed to make that commitment.

"We will not be going into the specifics of the program that has been put in place, but it is extensive."

QRU boss Jim Carmichael added: "Quade is a young man who has faced the cold reality that some off-field facets of his life could jeopardise his future unless he changes them.

"Because he has accepted that responsibility and has committed to making the necessary change, we will help and support him in that - provided he continues to demonstrate that his commitment is genuine and ongoing."

Cooper's lawyer Angelo Venardos has said there is "a lot more to the story" of the night relating to the charge.

New Zealand-born Cooper made his Test debut against Italy in 2008 and has so far played 11 Tests for Australia.

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