Cooper tweets no appeal
A tweet by Quade Cooper appears to have put an end to the Queensland’s thoughts of appealing the Reds playmaker’s ban ahead of Saturday night’s Super Rugby qualifying final against the Sharks in Brisbane.
The Reds had kept the Sharks sweating on Cooper’s availability after releasing a statement on Wednesday afternoon claiming they were still “seriously considering” lodging an appeal over Cooper’s one game suspension for a dangerous tackle.
Just hours later Cooper appeared to put the issue to bed.
“I won’t be appealing the 1 match suspension as I don’t want to be a distraction to the teams prep,” he tweeted on Wednesday night.
The Reds are yet to officially confirm Cooper’s claim.
But the tweet looks to have ended what could have been a disruptive appeal process for the Reds ahead of their sudden death showdown at Suncorp Stadium.
Queensland Rugby Union chairman Rod McCall had said earlier on Wednesday the QRU would speak with governing body SANZAR before making a decision on whether to appeal the ban for a high tackle on NSW Waratahs centre Berrick Barnes.
But time was not on their side – a team can only lodge an appeal up to 48 hours after receiving the written judgement.
The Reds received their documentation on Tuesday night.
“By not receiving the formal judgment until 8pm Tuesday, after the decision was handed down on Monday evening, time is getting away from us in what was already a short preparation,” McCall had said in the Reds statement on Wednesday.
“Under the current SANZAR protocols, if we were to launch an appeal, we would lose at least a further day of preparation with (Reds coach) Ewen (McKenzie) and Quade who would both be required to fly to Sydney for another hearing.
“However, we are cognisant of the need to support our player if we feel he has been treated harshly and, in our opinion, we still strongly believe the tackle did not warrant suspension.”
A gutted Cooper said on Monday night after a marathon judicial hearing that he was wary of appealing due to the risk of adding more weeks to his ban if unsuccessful.
If the Reds beat the Sharks, Cooper will be free to return for the semi-final against the Chiefs in Hamilton next week.
The Reds will name their side for the qualifying final on Friday but Ben Lucas is tipped to replace Cooper at five-eighth.© AAP 2013
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