Cooper faces Lions absence

Quade Cooper's hopes of facing the Lions appear to be under severe threat after sections of the Australian media claimed he won't be invited to a Wallaby training camp this weekend. [more]

Cooper faces Lions absence

Quade Cooper’s hopes of facing the Lions appear to be under severe threat after sections of the Australian media claimed he won’t be invited to a Wallaby training camp this weekend.

According to the Australian Associated Press, the mercurial playmaker is set to be overlooked when head coach Robbie Deans names a 30-man squad to meet for a two-day session in Sydney this Sunday.

While Deans is yet to announce his latest Wallaby party, it would be a surprise if AAP were wide of the mark, especially as they claim Cooper has already confirmed his omission to them.

Rebels utility back James O’Connor and Brumbies star Christian Lealiifano look like battling it out for the No10 jersey despite the fact that the pair have played most of their rugby this season at full back and inside centre respectively.

Lealiifano’s Brumbies team-mate Matt Toomua could also feature in what would be a further blow to Cooper who could find himself considered as low as fifth or even sixth-choice just two years after producing some scintillating rugby to guide the Reds to Super XV glory and the Wallabies to a first Tri Nations crown since 2001.

Google Ad Manager – In Article

The fact that his reported admission comes despite the fact that Australia’s No1 fly-half, Kurtley Beale, is currently suspended after an off-field altercation on the Rebels’ recent tour of South Africa will simply add to the speculation that Cooper may have played his last international under Deans.

The relationship between the pair has been strained since Cooper criticised his coach’s tactics and described the Wallaby environment as ‘toxic’ last year, but that spat had reportedly been put behind them after Deans selected the 24-year-old in a 49-man squad at the beginning of the southern hemisphere season.

With Berrick Barnes – another option at 10 – currently injured so not included either, Cooper appears to have a long road ahead to reclaim his Test spot.

And while his absence in April doesn’t rule him out of contention for the opening international against the Lions on June 22, Cooper is clearly on the back foot when it comes to earning his 39th Australian cap in 11 weeks’ time.

Previous story On the plane EDM
Next story Ferris set to leave
Download