Rugby player fined $10k for criticising video game

Australian rugby union star Quade Cooper has been fined AU$10,000 for criticising the ARU-sanctioned video game Rugby Challenge, which features him as a playable character.

[img_big]center,8261,2011-08-23/img0009.jpg,Rugby Challenge[/img_big]

Cooper was asked via Twitter which game he liked better: EA‘s soccer title FIFA 12, or Sidhe Interactive‘s latest rugby game. His answer didn’t leave much room for interpretation:

Rugby challenge is the s–ttest game

Mario Wynands, Managing Director of New Zealand studio Sidhe “doesn’t begrudge” Cooper for having his own opinion on the game, but he does think that perhaps Cooper’s reaction is a sign of something bigger:

Put in context, he was obviously lashing out at all and sundry at the time, presumably frustrated by his recent on field performances and current injured status from which we wish him a speedy recovery. That being said, we’ll be sure to take special care of his player stats if we develop a Rugby Challenge sequel.

Part of that ‘context’ saw Cooper given a three-match suspension and fined a total of AU$60,000 for a series of misdemeanors. The Australian Rugby Union declared the player had “brought the game into disrepute”, by labelling his team a “toxic environment” and criticising coach Robbie Deans.

In accepting the verdict and his punishment, Cooper – currently sidelined with a knee injury – seemed to have calmed down a little:

I’m very happy with the outcome. I accept the sentence that’s been handed to me. I have full respect for that.

I understand I fell well below par in what it means to be a Wallaby and for all of the supporters that are out there, my apologies.

Part of the sentence – $20,000 of the fine and the entire three-match suspension period – has been suspended, effectively putting Cooper under a two year good behaviour bond.

Rugby Challenge, known in Australia as Wallabies Rugby Challenge, New Zealand as All Blacks Rugby Challenge and internationally as Jonah Lomu Rugby Challenge was released around the world late last year, with a Vita version arriving in June 2012. It has received “mixed to positive” reviews from critics.

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