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Australia centre Quade Cooper to undergo counselling

Australia centre Quade Cooper
Cooper made his Australia debut in 2008 and has played nine Tests

Australia's Quade Cooper will undergo an extensive personal development and counselling course following a string of off-field incidents.

The 21-year-old centre must complete the custom-made programme before he is considered for future selection by Queensland Reds or Australia.

He can resume training with the Reds in mid-January and his progress will be reviewed in early February.

Cooper faces a committal hearing in July 2010 to answer a burglary charge.

That stems from an alleged incident on the Gold Coast earlier in December.

"The court process needs to take its course and Quade is entitled to the presumption of innocence," said Australian Rugby Union high performance general manager David Nucifora.

"What we are talking about here in terms of personal development and counselling relates to the fact that Quade has had a number of off-field issues during the past year.

"The QRU (Queensland Rugby Union) and ARU agreed that collectively we need to impose on Quade an action plan that he must now adhere to as part of his ongoing employment, and Quade has agreed to make that commitment.

QRU chief executive Jim Carmichael welcomed Cooper's commitment to complete the programme.

"Quade is a young man who has faced the cold reality that some off-field facets of his life could jeopardise his future unless he changes them," said Carmichael.

"We all want to see Quade make the right choices in his life and this long-term programme of support and guidance is designed to help him do that."

The centre made his international debut in November 2008, coming off the bench against Italy and scoring in a 30-20 Wallabies victory. He has played nine Tests for Australia, including all four of their tour of the home nations last month.

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see also
Wallaby Cooper on burglary charge
06 Dec 09 |  Rugby Union
Wales 12-33 Australia
28 Nov 09 |  Welsh
Scotland 9-8 Australia
21 Nov 09 |  Scottish
Ireland 20-20 Australia
15 Nov 09 |  Irish
England 9-18 Australia
07 Nov 09 |  Rugby Union

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