27 Nov 2012

Reds still hopeful about keeping Cooper

6:10 am on 27 November 2012

The Queensland Reds remain confident about an 11th-hour resolution to have Quade Cooper return to rugby a week after getting in the boxing ring on February 8.

Relations between Cooper and the Australian Rugby Union appear to have disintegrated to the point of no return after the controversial Wallabies playmaker reiterated he would not sign a downgraded incentive-based ARU contract.

Cooper will make his boxing debut on the undercard of Sonny Bill Williams' heavyweight bout with South African Frans Botha in Brisbane eight days before Queensland kick off their Super Rugby season, but the Queensland Union chief executive Jim Carmichael does not believe that will prevent Cooper from honouring his three-year deal at Ballymore.