24 Jul 2015

Cooper at centre of emerging stoush

12:05 pm on 24 July 2015

Australian Rugby officials have attempted to distance themselves from an emerging stoush between Quade Cooper and enraged Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal.

Quade Cooper on duty for the Queensland Reds

Quade Cooper on duty for the Queensland Reds Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Boudjellal has threatened to sue the ARU for "millions of euros" if the playmaker backflips on his big-money deal to join the French heavyweights.

Cooper, who posed for a photo in a Toulon jersey with Boudjellal earlier this year, was set to join Toulon after the World Cup.

But reports this week indicate the Wallabies and the Queensland five-eighth has opted to stay in the country on a four-year deal with the aim of leading the Australian Sevens team at next year's Rio Olympic Games.

In a dramatic tirade on French radio, Boudjellal accused the ARU of playing dirty for continuing to negotiate with Cooper after he had already committed to Toulon.

Cooper's interests are managed by Khoder Nasser, who is no stranger to Boudjellal after he helped deliver one of Toulon's biggest-ever signings, Sonny Bill Williams.

The blockbusting All Blacks midfielder signed with Toulon in 2008 after walking out on his NRL club the Canterbury Bulldogs while he was still under contract, and midway through the rugby league season.

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