Cooper calm over omission

Wallaby playmaker Quade Cooper says he has no issues with national boss Robbie Deans despite being overlooked for this weekend's training camp in Sydney. [more]

Cooper calm over omission

Wallaby playmaker Quade Cooper says he has no issues with national boss Robbie Deans despite being overlooked for this weekend’s training camp in Sydney.

Deans has yet to officially name his 30-man party for the latest Wallaby get together but Cooper has confirmed that he hasn’t been invited.

Starting the Lions series without the 25-year-old fly-half would have been almost inconceivable a year-and-a-half ago but Cooper now appears to be facing an uphill struggle to feature against Britain and Ireland’s elite.

But rather than express his disappointment with another outburst similar to the one that earned him a heavy fine last season, Cooper insists he respects Deans’ decision and is focusing entirely on performing week in, week out for the Reds.

"It's like just any other player-coach relationship," Cooper, who has previously publicly criticised Deans and described the Wallaby camp as ‘toxic’, told Australian Associated Press.

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"I've got to do what I can as a player and he has to do what he thinks best as the coach.

"I've got full respect and trust in what he's doing for the team and I'll continue to do what I can for the team I'm part of now, which is the Reds.

"It's no big issue really because we have a big season ahead of us.

"People are going to look at players differently. It's not the first or the last time you're going to miss out on a side."

Cooper hasn’t played for his country since mid September after he suffered a knee injury in the narrow win over Argentina on the Gold Coast

He was named in Deans’ initial 49-man squad at the start of the season, however, and was widely expected to challenge for a Test spot in 11 weeks’ time.

But, with Kurtley Beale suspended indefinitely and Berrick Barnes still injured, Deans now appears likely to start Rebels utility back James O’Connor or Brumbies centre cum outside-half Christian Lealiifano in the series opener Brisbane on June 22.

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