Oz trio fit for Boks, Pumas
Sydney - Australia coach Robbie Deans has opted not to replace Quade Cooper in
his squad for the last two Tests of the Rugby Championship despite
losing his first choice flyhalf to injury for the rest of the
Cooper will miss the Tests in South Africa and
Argentina after scans on Tuesday revealed he needed a further operation
on the knee he had reconstructed after the World Cup last year.
Deans will instead trust in the versatility of his other backs with
three members of the 28-man squad - Berrick Barnes, Kurtley Beale and
Mike Harris - all familiar with the flyhalf position.
started at fullback in the comeback victory over Argentina last week,
stood in for Cooper for this year's Test series against Wales and the
opening match of the championship against the All Blacks.
has played mostly at fullback for the Wallabies but started his career
in the number 10 shirt and put in some impressive displays for the
Melbourne Rebels in the pivot role this year.
Harris has played
two of his three Tests at inside centre but came on as replacement at
flyhalf to kick the winning points when the Wallabies beat Wales 25-23
in Melbourne in June.
Cooper joined a long injury list already
featuring his halfback partner Will Genia, openside flank David
Pocock, back James O'Connor and World Cup captain James Horwill.
There was better news about hooker Stephen Moore and lock Sitaleki
Timani, who are able to travel after recovering from hamstring injuries,
while winger Dom Shipperley has got the all clear after dislocating a
finger against the Pumas last week.
The squad departs for South
Africa on Thursday before playing the Springboks in Pretoria on September 29. Their final match of the championship is against Argentina in
Rosario a week later.Australia squad:
Forwards: Saia Faingaa, Stephen Moore, Tatafu
Polota-Nau, Ben Alexander, Paddy Ryan, James Slipper, Benn Robinson, Rob
Simmons, Nathan Sharpe, Kane Douglas, Sitaleki Timani, Scott
Higginbotham, Radike Samo, Michael Hooper, Liam Gill, Dave Dennis
Backs: Nick Phipps, Brett Sheehan, Ben Tapuai, Anthony Faingaa, Pat
McCabe, Digby Ioane, Dom Shipperley, Nick Cummins, Adam Ashley-Cooper,
Kurtley Beale, Berrick Barnes, Mike Harris.