No rush for No10

Robbie Deans says star fly-half Quade Cooper is unlikely to feature for the Wallabies against either Scotland or Wales this summer. [more]

No rush for No10

Robbie Deans says star fly-half Quade Cooper is unlikely to feature for the Wallabies against either Scotland or Wales this summer.

The Queensland Reds playmaker tore his anterior cruciate ligament in Australia’s Bronze Medal win over the Welsh at last year’s World Cup and no official date has yet been set for his return.

Deans insists Cooper is progressing well following surgery and has now started running but the Wallaby head coach doesn’t intend to rush him back even if he returns in time to play for the reigning Super 15 Champions some time in May.

“Unlikely,” was Deans’ response when asked if Cooper would be selected for the one-off summer international against the Scots and the three-Test series with Wales.

“The likelihood is that he will be back playing prior to that, but when remains to be seen.

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“He's only just started running again so there's a lot of hurdles he's got to clear without setback but the early indications are very good.”

After a stellar first eight months of 2011 for club and country, Cooper copped a great deal of criticism for his performances at the World Cup in New Zealand.

The maverick No10 failed to live up to expectations as Australia lost to Ireland and then the All Blacks in a tournament in which they were tipped to at least contest the final.

And while Cooper is lauded as the key to Australia becoming the world’s No1 ranked team and beating the 2013 Lions by some, others believe the Wallabies are simply better off without him.

So rather than throw him in at the deep end by pressurizing him to return before he’s ready, Deans will allow Cooper plenty of time to re-find his form, with the 23-year-old apparently desperate to come back an even better player than before.

“Quade's in good spirits and he's in no doubt that the adversity he's been through will make him stronger,” added Deans.

“Immediately after the World Cup semi-final (loss to the All Blacks) we obviously spent a bit of time together but after that we didn't have a lot of opportunity because we went off shore and Quade had his operation. I caught up with him the other day and spent quite a bit of time with him, so that was good. We'll have a lot of dialogue from this point forward.

“The critical thing for Quade in his words is, when he comes back he wants to be more than ready. So he's not going to rush back just simply to be back, which is a good outlook. He wants to come back fitter than ever and stronger than ever.”

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