Cooper in limbo after case adjourned
December 11, 2009
Empty handed: Quade Cooper's lawyer told the public not to pre-judge him © Getty Images
Quade Cooper said he hoped to continue playing rugby despite having a charge of burglary hanging over his head after his case was adjourned until July 2 next year.
Cooper's lawyer Angelo Venardos said there was "more to this story" and insisted that the Wallabies star hadn't set out with "balaclavas and house-breaking implements" as some might have imagined during his alleged break-in and robbery of a Gold Coast home early on December 6.
Venardos had his request for a committal hearing next year granted at Southport Magistrates Court on Friday morning local time, leaving the immediate future of 21-year-old Cooper up in the air.
It's unclear whether the Australian Rugby Union or Queensland Rugby Union will allow the Wallabies and Reds centre to play up until July's hearing, especially given ARU chief John O'Neill's firm stance on player misbehaviour in the past.
Venardos told reporters outside the court that he hopes "the truth will prevail", indicating Cooper will plead not guilty.
It's thought Cooper was attending the buck's night of Australia team-mate Peter Hynes the night before he was arrested for alleged forcing entrance into and taking computers from the home of two foreign students at around 4am.
"There is a lot more to this story," Mr Venardos said. "It's not as if Quade and someone else has jumped in their car with balaclavas and housebreaking implements and come down the Gold Coast.
"I'd just ask people not to pre-judge the circumstances. It's a watch-this-space situation. There's a lot more to come out yet. He regrets the potential embarrassment that it's caused to his employer, his family and his teammates."
Asked if he wanted to continue playing, a nervous and downtrodden-looking Cooper said: "Definitely. I'd love to play football. That's what I love to do. I hope everything works out for the best."
Jim Mallinder and Justin Burnell were sat on the same top table, but in different circumstances. Tom Hamilton reports on the Aviva Premiership season launch
Tom Hamilton reports back from the launch of the Guinness PRO12 where there is a renewed sense of optimism with all of the off-field changes to the league
So much for the great Australian revival, writes Greg Growden. It now has the potential of going off the rails after the capitulation at Eden Park
The latest Week in Pictures takes in photographs from the Rugby Championship, the Top 14 and the southern hemisphere domestic scene