Quade Cooper hit with fine and suspended ban for criticising Australia set-up
Last Updated: 21/11/12 8:44am
Quade Cooper: Received fine and suspended ban from the ARU
Australia fly-half Quade Cooper has been hit with a hefty fine and banned for three games after criticising the Wallabies and coach Robbie Deans.
Last month Cooper took to Twitter to hit out at the "toxic" environment within the national squad and also called into question the defensive style of Deans.
The 24-year-old then repeated his grievances on a television programme less than a week later, insisting he did not want to be a part of the Australia squad under the current regime because it was "destroying" him as a player and a person.
On Wednesday Cooper was asked to explain his comments before an Australian Rugby Union disciplinary hearing, but was found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute and hit with a Aus$60,000 fine and a ban.
However, the three-match ban was suspended as was $20,000 of the fine on the proviso that Cooper stays out of trouble for the next two years - meaning he will be available for national selection once he recovers from an ongoing knee injury.
"It was a very fair hearing and I was very happy with the outcome," Cooper declared afterwards.
"Obviously, the sentence that has been handed to me, I have full respect for that and I understand that I fell well below par in what it means to be a Wallaby... my apologies.
"From now on, I'm just looking forward to the future - hopefully having a big year, with not only my state but the Wallabies."