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
"It does sometimes get tough as you get older, but there's nothing else I'd rather do." Tom Hamilton talks to fly-half Dan Carter
Stingers, a rampaging Fijian and two Dannys looking to be champions of the world - Monday Maul looks at some key talking points
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Top 14, Super Rugby and the Aviva Premiership with fireworks and monsters both featuring
Firdose Moonda looks at the moves towards greater integration within South African rugby ... and what the future holds