Wallabies to recall Quade Cooper?
July 25, 2013
© Getty Images
Reds fly-half Quade Cooper is set to be recalled by the Wallabies when their squad for the Rugby Championship is named on Friday.
Cooper last played for Australia in the 2012 Rugby Championship and has since spent time in the international wilderness, in part due to his off-field conduct. After their narrow win over Argentina, Cooper hit out at the Australian Rugby Union labelling the environment within the Wallabies' camp "toxic".
A heavy fine followed and despite being a constant feature in the Reds' side for the 2013 Super Rugby campaign, Wallabies boss Robbie Deans overlooked him for their three-Test series against the British & Irish Lions. In Cooper's place, James O'Connor wore the fly-half jersey.
But with Deans gone and Cooper's long-term mentor Ewen McKenzie at the helm of Australia, Cooper looks set to be named in the 40-man squad for the southern hemisphere international tournament when it is unveiled on Friday.
"The squad is still to be announced and hopefully my name will be up there with the rest of the boys," Cooper told Fox Sports. "It will be exciting to be involved with the Wallabies again. But I'm not taking anything for granted."
And Cooper is adamant he is fully fit and firing after struggling with a knee injury following that narrow victory over Argentina last September. "I feel a lot fitter and I'm 100 per cent healthy," Cooper added. "I had a fair bit of niggly knee injuries at the stage that I last played for the Wallabies, so I feel in a good spot.
"I've learnt a fair bit about myself, especially about hard work and attitude. Those things go a long way on and off the field. The harder you work off the field, the more it shows on the field."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
The time for tinkering is over - England must nail their colours to the mast in key positions, writes Phil Vickery
"New Zealand-born Joe Schmidt has forged the Irish into a street-smart, well- prepared side," John Mitchell on the Irish renaissance
"I am bored of hearing 'I can't fault the effort'. Let us take that for granted and look for some quality." John Taylor writes
Reports comparing the 2014 Wallabies with their rabble-like predecessors of 2005 are unfair and self-serving, Greg Growden reports