Cooper to miss Sharks clash
Queensland Reds flyhalf Quade Cooper will miss Saturday's Super Rugby playoff against South Africa's Sharks in Brisbane after it was ruled he had committed a dangerous tackle last weekend, governing body Sanzar said on Monday.
The Australia international was sent to the sinbin and cited for a high tackle on New South Wales Waratahs back Berrick Barnes during the 32-16 victory which secured the defending champion's place in the playoffs.
The mercurial flyhalf was the subject of a Sanzar judicial hearing on Monday, following which he was suspended for a week.
"Whilst in the process of a tackle on Berrick Barnes, there was principle contact with the chest but also with the neck such as to make the tackle dangerous in contravention of Law 10.4(e)," Sanzar said in a statement.
"...It is also a matter of significance that the Sanzar rules allow consideration be given to the importance of games to be played during the Super Rugby finals series and as such, this has been taken into account as a mitigating circumstance.
"It follows that Quade Cooper is suspended from all forms of Rugby for one week up to and including July 21."
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Cooper's absence is a huge blow to the Reds, who are now likely to move placekicker Mike Harris across from inside centre to take the number 10 shirt against the Sharks.
Cooper missed Australia's June internationals because he had failed to recover sufficiently from the knee injury that ended his World Cup last October.
Barnes, who was forced off the pitch by the tackle from his fellow Wallaby last Saturday, stepped in at flyhalf in place of Cooper and played an outstanding series as Australia swept Six Nations champions Wales 3-0.