Cooper loses appeal against spear-tackle ban

Wallabies flyhalf Quade Cooper on Wednesday lost his appeal against a two-week suspension for a spear tackle on South Africa’s Morne Steyn.

Southern hemisphere rugby body Sanzar said its appeals committee had heard Cooper’s case but decided the suspension imposed after Saturday’s Tri Nations Test match against South Africa in Brisbane would stand.

“After a lengthy teleconference hearing, and deliberations, the committee dismissed the appeal,” Sanzar said in a statement.

Cooper was suspended after a citing for a dangerous tip tackle on Steyn in the 54th minute of the Test, which Australia won 30-13.

Australia has already announced two changes for this weekend’s crunch Tri-Nations clash with New Zealand, with coach Robbie Deans bringing in Berrick Barnes at inside centre and Matt Giteau replacing Cooper at flyhalf.

Saturday’s match could go a long way towards deciding the Tri-Nations title after both teams went unbeaten in their opening games against South Africa. — Sapa-AFP

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