Rugby Quade Cooper's priority - Richard Graham
January 7, 2014
Quade Cooper recaptured his best form in Europe © Getty Images
Queensland Reds coach Richard Graham has reiterated his stance regarding Quade Cooper's extra-curricular boxing career, saying it will not hamper either the player's or the team's pre-season preparations "because rugby is his first priority".
Cooper is set to fight on the undercard of Anthony Mundine's bout at Brisbane Entertainment Centre on January 29, against Warren Tresidder, but Graham said as the Reds returned to training on Tuesday that his playmaker "knows his focus is here and everything he's done previously has demonstrated that he understands that clearly".
Cooper also returned to training alongside James Horwill, both back a week earlier than scheduled, the fly-half having already completed two pre-Christmas sessions with the team after returning from the Wallabies' end-of-year tour of Europe.
"Quade is not due back until next Monday and he has already done two sessions with us prior to Christmas and was back again yesterday," Graham said. "There's always a good transference between form in the Wallabies tour and form going back into the Super Rugby season. The likes of Quade, Will [Genia] and James [Horwill] were all in form towards the back end of that tour.
"For Quade, it was a period where he went through injury and then began playing a lot of rugby and really starting to enjoy it. He put a lot of time into his rugby and was light on his feet and that reflected in his performance."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd with AAP
Communication error please reload the page.
Chelsea captain John Terry is in line to recover from injury in time for Tuesday's Champions League semi-final second leg with Atletico Madrid, according to reports
Sir Alex Ferguson says he was "upset" at the way Manchester United handled their messy sacking of manager David Moyes
Ian Ritchie, the chief executive of the RFU, has said that the summer series against New Zealand is "the acid test" of England's progress
Simaika Mikaele was ridiculed when threw himself to the ground clutching his face - albeit in instalments - after the mildest of jabs to his chest
Liverpool's managing director Ian Ayre claims the club deserve more credit for their transformation from financial basket case to well-run title favourites