McKenzie hopes Cooper hearing doesn't rob him of his star

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James Mortimer     31 Oct 2012     Getty Images

They may have had the Chiefs usurp them as the dominant franchise this season, but there was a relaxed confidence in Brisbane as coach Ewen McKenzie took his backline general through his paces, and while it seemed at one stage as if Cooper was lost to the code, Queensland have stood by their enigmatic player, despite his comments.

He attacked Robbie Deans coaching style, and also went as far to say the Wallabies were a "toxic" environment.

While Cooper is contracted as a Red, he is still to confirm his ARU top up, something that is under risk as he may face a fine or suspension.

McKenzie said to the Brisbane Times the matter just needed to be closed so all could concentrate on rugby.

"You can go back and trawl over the circumstances. If you had your time again, you'd hope things would have happened differently. I think we need to get to the end of it," he said.

The Super Rugby winning coach had no doubt Cooper wanted to play next season.

"He loves the game, he loves playing," he said.

"I've never, ever thought he wasn't passionate about the Reds or about Australian rugby."

"He'll want to play 10 at the highest level he can and in front of the biggest crowds he possibly can. That's him."