Australia and Queensland Reds star Quade Cooper was on Friday ordered by rugby union officials to undergo counselling before he will be allowed to resume playing, after being accused of burglary.
Cooper, 21, was earlier this month charged with robbing a house on the Gold Coast, and the Australian Rugby Union said he would not be allowed to play internationally or for the Reds until he undertook a counselling program.
”Cooper’s progress will be monitored and then reviewed in early February before any further decisions are made on his immediate playing future,” the ARU said in a statement.
”He will, at this stage, be permitted to resume training with the Reds in mid-January but with no guarantees about when he will return to playing.”
The ARU said the ”extensive” personal development program was aimed at addressing a ”number of off-field issues” for New Zealand-born Cooper, who will face a court hearing on the burglary charge in July 2010.
”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.
”The Queensland Rugby Union 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,” he added.
Nucifora said Cooper would not face disciplinary action under the sport’s code of conduct until the court case was finalised. — AFP