Injured Cooper faces six months out
October 21, 2011
Australia's Quade Cooper is helped from the field © Getty Images
Australia's crocked fly-half Quade Cooper faces up to six months on the sidelines after rupturing an anterior cruciate ligament during the third-place play-off win over Wales.
The mercurial fly-half went down in a heap after his right knee buckled beneath him as he looked to run at the Welsh defence. The 23-year-old limped off the pitch after 22 minutes and he is now expected to miss Australia's short northern hemisphere tour later in the year.
The news follows a difficult tournament for the New Zealand-born Cooper, who has been a target for the Kiwi press throughout the global gathering.
The Queensland Red, who moved to Australia as a 15-year-old, courted controversy earlier this year when he allegedly kneed All Blacks captain Richie McCaw in the Tri Nations - an incident that has not been forgotten by the country's media. Despite his difficulties,Wallabies coach Robbie Deans believes the talented playmaker will return far "stronger".
"Quade is aware that it is a significant injury, but with technology these days he will come back good to go," Deans said. "Obviously that whole experience, that adversity, will challenge him, but I have got no doubt he will come out of that stronger for it."
Cooper's half-back partner at club and international level, Will Genia, believes the wounded No. 10 will benefit in the long-term from his trials and tribulations.
"In terms of his character, he showed a lot of guts and a lot of character. He'll be much better for it," Genia said. "Obviously the way he finished with that injury is disappointing, but he'll come away a better person."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The latest Week in Pictures brings you a selection of the best snaps from around the rugby world with scantily clad ladies, O'Driscoll and snow all featuring
"If I miss the first kick of the match, it shouldn't have any impact on the second. They are different entities." Tom Hamilton talks to Northampton Saints' Stephen Myler
It's time for those running Welsh rugby to stop trying to prevent its players heading to France and to start planning a future without them, writes Martin Williamson
Paul Eddison explains how the French sold English clubs down the river and why their domestic game will go from strength to strength