Wallaby Quade Cooper wants to keep on boxing
Queensland Reds fly-half says plying his talent in the ring helps him escape the pressure of rugby
Wallaby vice-captain Quade Cooper said on the eve of his second pro bout that the fight game has boosted his rugby career and he wants to go on boxing.
Cooper, who will take on 40-year-old Australian boxer Warren "The Fortress" Tresidder in Brisbane on Wedensday night, said he was determined to juggle both sports.
But the Queensland Reds fly half was aware that Australian Rugby Union chief Bill Pulver has indicated boxing could be out when negotiations start for a new deal, with Cooper's contract due to expire later this year.
"It's made me a more disciplined person and better athlete and only helped my rugby," Cooper said. "And it keeps you sane. It's a great way of escaping from the pressure of being a [rugby player]. I love doing both. I won't let either one come in the way of the other.
"I still haven't had a chat with Bill [Pulver] but after everything is out of the way I'm sure we'll be able to sit down and chat about the future.
"I'd love to continue to do it and I will continue to do it."
Under new rugby coach Ewen McKenzie, Cooper has revived his career and is now among the names cited to take over the captaincy with incumbent Ben Mowen planning to move abroad.
Australia's international season kicks off with three tests against France in June.
"It's a great honour to have your name thrown in the hat with the likes of Will Genia, James Horwill and Dave Pocock," Cooper said of the other favourites who have led the national team.
"I am not focusing on that. I just want to be the best teammate I can be," he said. "The captaincy is something that will be dealt with down the track."
Cooper skipped the Reds' final Super Rugby trial against the Chiefs to fight Barry Dunnett last February and notched up an impressive first-round knockout victory.
The outspoken Cooper was hit with the biggest fine in Australian history for an outburst in September 2012 about the "toxic" environment at the Wallabies camp and the defensive style of then coach Robbie Deans.
He was fined A$40,000 (HK$273,000) plus a further A$20,000 suspended, but went on to apologise.