Cooper follows SBW to the ring

Quade Cooper is set to make his boxing debut in February while he contemplates his rugby future.

Although he’s signed a three-year deal with the Reds, Cooper is still deciding on where he’ll be based next year.

After being slapped with the biggest fine issued by the ARU (A$60 000, which is about R538 000) for bringing the game into disrepute, the flyhalf rejected an incentive-based deal from the national union and is looking at offers in the French Top 14 and rugby league. If he doesn’t have a national contract, he doesn’t have to commit to the Reds.

Unless the Reds can convince the ARU to offer Cooper a better deal, the player is likely to turn down the option of playing Super Rugby next season.

‘As it stands now, I’m still contracted until the end of December but I don’t really have an option to continue forward with in rugby union at the moment,’ Cooper told reporters on Monday. ‘Union is something I very much love but it is kind of out of my hands at the moment.’

Cooper will focus on boxing in the meanwhile. He’s been training in the ring for months as part of his rehabilitation on his injured knee.

He’ll now feature in a cruiserweight bout on the same day Sonny Bill Williams fights South African Francois Botha in Brisbane on 8 February.

Williams, who’s a close friend of Cooper, added that he would love to see the Reds playmaker playing rugby league next year.