Quade Cooper cops $50,000 fine for comments
Controversial Wallabies playmaker Quade Cooper has been fined $A40,000 ($NZ50,461) fine and faces a three-match ban and a further $A20,000 ($NZ25,230) fine if he steps out of line with the Australian Rugby Union hierarchy during the next two years.
Cooper was fined $A10,000 ($NZ12,615) for a Tweet criticising Rugby Challenge, a computer game licenced by the ARU, and a further $A30,000 ($37,846) fine for comments on Twitter and in the general media criticising the Wallabies and coach Robbie Deans.
He was also handed a two-year suspended sentence of $A20,000 ($NZ25,231) and a three-game ban.
The ban potentially covers Super Rugby and test matches.
After a marathon judicial hearing at the ARU headquarters in Sydney the 24-year-old apologised to supporters for his outburst.
"I'm very happy with the outcome. I accept the sentence that's been handed to me. I have full respect for that," he told reporters five hours after entering a disciplinary hearing before a three-member panel.
"I understand I fell well below par in what it means to be a Wallaby and for all of the supporters that are out there, my apologies.
"From now I'm looking forward to the future and hopefully I can have a big year not only with my state [Queensland] but the Wallabies.
"I'm very much looking forward to overcoming my injury and getting back on to the field."
Currently nursing a knee injury - the legacy of his forgettable World Cup campaign in New Zealand a year ago Cooper reaffirmed his commitment to the Wallabies after suggestions his controversial comments were a precursor to a code switch to the NRL.
Cooper described parts of the Wallabies environment this season as "toxic", intimated coach Robbie Deans' game plan stymied his attacking play and said he would not play if selected for the Rugby Championship tests in South Africa and Argentina.
Ultimately Cooper, who was panned after his performance against Los Pumas on the Gold Coast, was unavailable through injury.
Cooper arrived with a support crew including Reds coach Ewen McKenzie, the mentor credited with developing the first five-eighth into one of world rugby's most potent attacking weapons.
Cooper's latest brush with authority follows an alleged burglary in 2010 that was resolved with a five-figure compensation payout; he was also fined $A7500 ($NZ9461) by the ARU.
In June this year, while recuperating from the World Cup-ending knee injury he was involved in an altercation with a bouncer at a Brisbane bar with Wallabies teammate Kurtley Beale, who still faces assault charges in relation to the incident.