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Quade Cooper gets three-match suspension

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 21/03/2017

Quade Cooper leaves the field after being handed a red card in Johannesburg last weekend. © Lee Warren/Gallo Images/Getty Images) Quade Cooper leaves the field after being handed a red card in Johannesburg last weekend. Quade Cooper will miss three Super Rugby matches after being found guilty of a dangerous tackle against the Lions.

The Queensland Reds five-eighth was red carded in the 47th minute of their heavy loss to the South African side when he hit centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg as he crashed over for a try in Johannesburg.

The competition's governing body SANZAAR took a dim view of the incident, suspending Cooper up until April 8 in a verdict handed down on Tuesday night (AEDT).

SANZAAR suggested he may have been lucky not cop an even heftier sabbatical.

"With respect to sanction the judicial committee deemed the act of foul play merited a mid range entry point of six weeks," the SANZAAR statement read.

"However, taking into account mitigating factors including the player's admission of guilt, his remorse and the fact that the player had a good disciplinary record having not come under notice since 2012, the judicial committee reduced the suspension to three weeks."

Already reeling from skipper James Slipper's season-ending injury, it is another hammer blow to the Reds who sit second on the Australian conference but only have one win from four games.

Cooper will miss games against the Jaguares, Hurricanes and Brumbies before being available for selection against the Kings on April 15.

The mercurial pivot had already been flown home to Brisbane, suggesting the Reds were well prepared for the suspension.

Jake McIntyre is already a confirmed starter at No.10 for Cooper against the Jaguares with Henry Taefu as cover.

Former Brisbane NRL flyer Lachlan Maranta has been called into the Reds' squad.

Cooper flew home with Slipper, who ruptured an Achilles tendon in the Lions' romp at Ellis Park.

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