29 Aug 2011

Quade Cooper's Tri Nations citing dismissed

9:18 am on 29 August 2011

The Wallaby first-five Quade Cooper is free to start at the Rugby World Cup after escaping suspension for kneeing Richie McCaw.

Cooper was cited for dropping his knee into the All Black captain's head in the second half of last night's 25-20 Tri-Nations clinching victory in Brisbane.

But after a 45 minute hearing the charge was dismissed, the SANZAR judicial officer Jannie Lubbe acepting Cooper's explanation that he was just getting up to go to the next play when his knee hit McCaw.

Cooper, who missed two Tests last year for a lifting tackle in a South African player, says there were bodies everywhere.

The incident is the latest in a 10-month battle, which Cooper says isn't personal.

It began in Hong kong last October with a push to the All Blacks flanker's head after the Wallabies' last minute win and continued during the Super 15 and the opening Bledisloe Test in Auckland.

Australia's first match is against Italy at North Harbour Stadium in a fortnight.