Rugby: Cooper no distraction for Wallabies

Quade Cooper at yesterday's press conference where he announced his boxing debut. Photo / Getty Images
Quade Cooper at yesterday's press conference where he announced his boxing debut. Photo / Getty Images

Winger Drew Mitchell says the Wallabies have more important things to worry about than Quade Cooper's move to boxing.

The Wallabies are in Cardiff preparing to face Wales in the final Test of their European tour on Saturday.

Mitchell was asked if he was surprised to learn about the news this week from Australia that Cooper was putting his rugby career on hold to be a boxer.

"To be honest no one here's really talking about it. I guess it's been going on for a little while and it's his decision," Mitchell told AAP.

"But we've got something a little bit more important to worry about ... which is this weekend and that's where our energy will be going to."

The controversial Wallabies playmaker this week reiterated he would not sign a downgraded incentive-based ARU contract and was putting his rugby career on hold for a charity boxing debut in February.

Relations between Cooper and the Australian Rugby Union looked to have collapsed with agent Khoder Nasser revealing "a total communication breakdown" between the two parties.

The Wallabies are desperate to finish off their four-game tour in style and send retiring skipper Nathan Sharpe out a winner.

The 28-year-old Mitchell, who has battled injuries for the past two years and was facing an early end to his career, made just his first start for the Wallabies in 13 months in last Saturday's 22-19 win over Italy in Florence.

He's not sure if he'll start against Wales but Mitchell is just pleased to get some regular rugby in after playing in two of the three tour matches so far.

"To get back and to be able to and train fully and be selected on this tour was great. From being where I was only a couple of months ago when I was told that I wouldn't play again to then being involved in the Wallaby environment on tour is pretty special," Mitchell said.

-AAP

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