Rugby: Reds still considering Cooper appeal

Quade Cooper. Photo / Getty Images
Quade Cooper. Photo / Getty Images

The Queensland Reds are still considering appealing Quade Cooper's ban, despite the playmaker tweeting overnight that he would not pursue it due to the potential disruption ahead of Saturday night's sudden death Super Rugby final.

Cooper appeared to put the issue to bed when he tweeted: "I won't be appealing the 1 match suspension as I don't want to be a distraction to the teams prep" on Wednesday night.

However, Reds coach Ewen McKenzie said the club were still examining the written judgement and a transcript of Monday night's marathon judicial hearing to see if they had grounds to appeal Cooper's one-match ban for a dangerous tackle.

But McKenzie did not believe it would be a distraction ahead of their qualifying final against the Sharks at Suncorp Stadium.

"At the moment we have the decision (in writing) ...and we will make a decision," he said.

"It's not just about the tackle...there are a number of aspects which I won't go into that the organisation feels strongly enough to pursue it and keep their options open.

"The business is running that side of it.

"We are preparing for the Sharks and we have asked the players to concentrate on that.

"As the days tick on we have to get on with a pretty important game of rugby."

Queensland Rugby Union chairman Rod McCall said 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 is not on their side - a team can lodge an appeal up to 48 hours after receiving the written judgement.

The Reds received their documentation on Tuesday night.

"Under the current SANZAR protocols, if we were to launch an appeal, we would lose at least a further day of preparation with Ewen 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."

The QRU has until 8pm AEST (10pm NZT) on Thursday to launch an appeal.

"Further to yesterday's press release and since Quade Cooper's tweets, Queensland Rugby advises that it is awaiting receipt of the SANZAR transcript from Monday's judicial hearing before deciding whether to appeal the decision to ban the player for one match,'' a QRU release said on Thursday.

"QRU has until 8pm Thursday to launch an appeal and exercises its right to fully examine the SANZAR judicial process and outcomes before determining its final position.''

-AAP

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