Quade Cooper has learned work ethic, patience
July 28, 2013
Quade Cooper last played for Australia against Argentina in 2012 © PA Photos
Quade Cooper can handle Test pressure, Ewen McKenzie says%]
Quade Cooper is more confident than ever that he can deliver his best rugby on the Test stage, saying he "learned about work ethic and how to be patient" during his near-year-long absence from the Wallabies team.
Cooper was frozen out of the squad by Robbie Deans after describing as "toxic" the atmosphere inside the Wallabies' camp, but he will stand among the team's key players having been recalled to the squad by Ewen McKenzie, Deans' successor, for the Bledisloe Cup and The Rugby Championship.
"I have gained so much insight into life," Copper told Rugby Gold of his absence from Test rugby. "Things don't happen overnight. You work hard in the gym, on the training paddock, off the field. The results don't happen instantly. It takes weeks, months, even a year or two, but the harder you work, the more things seem to go in your favour.''
Cooper fell out with Deans last September, after a Rugby Championship Test against Argentina, and the New Zealander never picked him again, rejecting widespread public support for the Queensland Reds player to prefer James O'Connor in the Wallabies' No.10 jumper against the British & Irish Lions. Cooper never felt that he had necessarily played his last Test, after winning 38 caps, but he told Rugby Gold: "Every time you put on that Wallaby jumper you have got to think about it as a privilege, an opportunity, and it could be your last time. I will never take that for granted. I will never expect to be part of the team.."
Copper, now, is happy to have been recalled by his former Reds coach, under whom he directed Queensland to the 2011 Super Rugby title, saying he is keen to be involved in the campaign to win the Bledisloe Cup for the first time since 2002.
"I am just grateful to have a great coach who shows belief in me and the rest of my teammates,'' Cooper said of McLKenzie. "I am sure all the other players who get the chance to be selected in the team will benefit from the confidence Ewen instils in players. "[Deans] has moved on, I'm just looking forward to being involved with the Wallabies again. I've got nothing bad to say about him.''
Quade Cooper, at his best, has a devastating passing game © Getty Images
© ESPN Australia / New Zealand
As Ray McLoughlin prepares to celebrate his 75th birthday, Huw Richards pays tribute to the man and the selectors who had the wisdom to bring him into the Ireland fold
John Taylor argues the world's best XVs players must be given a chance to play in the Olympics to increase the appeal of the game
The All Blacks' form is not a peaking issue, but Hansen must threaten to wield his axe, to demand improvement, Craig Dowd writes
"It has been the World Cup that smashed down the gender barriers of the sport." Tom Hamilton looks back at a remarkable tournament