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
Italy coach Jacques Brunel spoke to ESPN ahead of his final season as Italy coach and tells of his desire to experiment and evolve
"There's no bull with me, I just tell it straight." Tom Hamilton talks to Warren Gatland in an exclusive interview
With the retirement of Adam Jones, Welsh rugby says goodbye to a great player and one of its biggest personalities too, writes Tom Hamilton
Cards, kicks, slips and scores: It's The Week in Pictures, the finest snaps from the last seven days of rugby