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Rugby | International Rugby

Quade signs new two-year deal with ARU



Controversial Wallaby Quade Cooper on Friday settled his differences with the Australian Rugby Union, signing a new two-year deal, officials said.

Cooper had earlier rejected an incentive-based contract, which was offered after a turbulent few months during which he criticised the "toxic" environment within the Wallabies and said his rugby career was "on hold".

But the ARU said Cooper, capped 38 times and who plays for the Queensland Reds Super Rugby team, had re-signed through to the end of 2014.

"Quade can now look forward to getting back on the field next year and playing for the Reds and in turn stake his claim for re-selection in the Qantas Wallabies squad," ARU acting chief executive Matt Carroll said.

The 24-year-old had signed a three-year contract with the Reds earlier in the year, but this was contingent on him holding an ARU contract which was due to expire this month.

Cooper remained close with the Reds during the ARU impasse and Queensland Rugby president Jim Carmichael said the new deal was not a financial decision but about "getting the emotional piece right".

"The ARU has shown great support to bring this to a point where we have the right decision for the game, one of rugby's real talents and Quade's future," Carmichael told Brisbane's Courier Mail.

"Where there might not have been trust and understanding a few months ago, there has been positive dialogue and everyone working towards the same thing.

"I know Quade is in a really good place with what he wants to achieve for the Wallabies, as well as Queensland."

The deal ends months of disagreement between the parties, with Cooper's manager saying in November that negotiations with the ARU had ground to a halt and the player would make his boxing debut in the new year.

At the time, Cooper said he had started boxing as a way of keeping his fitness during rehabilitation from knee surgery and was preparing for a fight on February 8 on the undercard of a Sonny Bill Williams contest.

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