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Quade Cooper to play Super Rugby for Reds

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Wallabies star playmaker Quade Cooper has agreed to play Super Rugby again for his former team the Queensland Reds.

Cooper has signed a contract with the Queensland Rugby Union that will keep him playing Super Rugby for the Reds until 2019.

Cooper will bring significant experience to the Reds and will be in familiar surroundings, having already represented Queensland 107 times from 2006 to 2015.

He has also represented the Wallabies in 59 Tests. During his time at Ballymore, Cooper led a resurgent Reds to the Super Rugby title in 2011, while also claiming individual honours as the side’s highest-ever points scorer in Super Rugby.

Reds head coach Nick Stiles said: “It’s pleasing to be able to welcome Quade back to Ballymore. He will add further experience to our squad and is committed to being a significant performer and a leader, as we continue to develop the next generation of Reds.”

Cooper said: “It was a tough decision as I believe the Rebels have a great Rugby program with some well respected coaches and a talented list but I feel that coming home to the Reds is the right move for me at this point.

“At the time when I decided to leave I felt that I needed a change and to experience something else. When I was away I started to look at my life as a whole. What made Rugby enjoyable to me was I got to do it in front of the people I love the most, which is my family and friends and that I got to play for the club that became such a huge part of my life.

“For me, when I think of Rugby and my life I think of the Reds. It’s a massive part of my life. I’ve been through the low times and the good times at the Reds and I want to be part of putting them back on top.

“I’m very much looking forward to working with Stilesy. I know he’s a good technical coach and that he’ll play a big part in the culture of the team. The list is one that I think can be successful in the near future and the long term as well.

“I’m now 28 and I want to build something that is sustainable for the future but also be apart of something that I believe will be successful in the near future and I believe that the Reds will be the place to achieve that.”

Cooper said playing international rugby was something he missed while overseas, and an opportunity that he would always cherish.

“For me, playing at the highest level for the Wallabies against the best teams in the world, week in, week out is the ultimate, and it will always be the pinnacle of our sport.

“Being back in Australia and having the opportunity to play for the Wallabies is something that drives me every day and being around my friends and family in Queensland is equally important for me.

“We have a good opportunity in the coming weeks to put some of the hard work we’ve done into action, and I know my teammates and I are looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead.

Wallabies Head Coach Michael Cheika said Cooper’s positive attitude around the group has already made an impact on the coaching staff and players.

“I am very pleased that Quade has decided to return to Australia to play his rugby. His return brings back his trademark flair and X factor but also, after his experience overseas, a wiser approach to the way he can lead the team around the field.

“I really believe he will make a big impact on the game both for Queensland and for the national team,” said Cheika.

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