McKenzie set to recall Cooper

Quade Cooper is set to return to the Australia squad ahead of the 2013 Rugby Championship. [more]

McKenzie set to recall Cooper

Quade Cooper is set to return to the Australia squad ahead of the 2013 Rugby Championship.

The maverick fly-half had been left in international wilderness by former Wallabies head coach Robbie Deans and missed the recent series with the British & Irish Lions.

But his former Queensland Reds coach Ewen McKenzie, who is now in charge of the Wallabies, is widely expected to recall the playmaker.

Cooper is hopeful of being called up and insists he is a better player than the one that last pulled on the Green and Gold.

“I hope so," Cooper told Fox Sports.

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"The squad is still to be announced and hopefully my name will be up there with the rest of the boys.

"It will be exciting to be involved with the Wallabies again. But I'm not taking anything for granted.

"I feel a lot fitter and I'm 100 per cent healthy.

"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."

Cooper has not featured for the Wallabies since last year after landing himself in hot water for branding Deans’ national set-up as a “toxic” environment, for which he was fined $40,000A.

McKenzie will name a 40-man squad in Sydney on Friday. Controversial stars James O’Connor and Kurtley Beale are also set to be included.

But David Pocock, Scott Higginbotham, Tatafu Polota-Nau and Sitaleki Timani are all unavailable due to long-term injuries.

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