LIVE

    Cooper eyes Wallaby recall

    2013-07-10 07:47

    Sydney - Maverick Reds playmaker Quade Cooper is likely to see his Wallaby career resurrected under Ewen McKenzie as the new coach seeks to transform the team into a more attacking unit.

    The polarising flyhalf has not featured for Australia since he labelled the Wallabies atmosphere "toxic" following last September's narrow win over Argentina, a comment that saw him left out of the squad which faced the British and Irish Lions.

    But with Robbie Deans gone and Cooper's director of coaching at Reds replacing him, the odds are that he will be recalled for their next match against the champion All Blacks in Sydney on August 17.

    McKenzie has championed Cooper's cause and said before the Lions series that he should be on the team. He made clear after his appointment as Wallabies coach on Tuesday that he remains a great admirer.

    "I think Quade is an outstanding player. I'm now in a position to control exactly who is going to play and who isn't," McKenzie said.

    "I look forward to the challenge of selecting the team. I'll be picking the team that I think can beat the All Blacks. I'm really looking forward to that task. I think we've got a really good bunch of players.

    "I think we've got great depth."

    Wallaby playmaker Will Genia, a team-mate of Cooper's at the Reds, said they were both excited about the possibility of playing again at national level, but neither was taking selection for granted.

    Genia said on Wednesday he had spoken with Cooper since McKenzie's appointment, and they were eager to impress him.

    "We've been fortunate enough to work with him (McKenzie) here and see the good things he's capable of doing," the halfback told reporters in Brisbane.

    "You can't hide the fact that Ewen's always been a big fan of Quade's, but just like every other player in Australia we're going to have to prove ourselves.

    "Everyone has a clean slate and everyone has to prove they're worthy of the jumper again."

    James O'Connor took Cooper's place in the Wallabies lineup, but he received mixed reviews and his club the Melbourne Rebels decided on Sunday not to offer him a contract beyond the 2013 season.

    O'Connor is one of a handful of players whose recent off-field behaviour has overshadowed their sporting achievements. McKenzie has made it clear he will not tolerate any ill-discipline.

    The new Wallaby coach revealed little about his thoughts on O'Connor.

    "Obviously, I've had a good look at the last three games," he said.

    "I've seen James O'Connor out there playing, but I've never coached him. There's a bunch of players like that, so I'll need to work all that out."

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

    Comment on this story
    4 comments
    Add your comment
    Comment 0 characters remaining
    Live Video Streaming
    • Blitz
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
    • SS1
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
    • SS2
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
    • SS3
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk
    /Sport

    Fixtures

    03 April 2015
    • Hurricanes v Stormers, Westpac Stadium 08:35
    • Rebels v Reds, AAMI Park 10:40
    04 April 2015
    • Chiefs v Blues, Waikato Stadium 08:35
    • Brumbies v Cheetahs, GIO Stadium 10:40
    • Sharks v Crusaders, Growthpoint Kings Park 15:00
    • Lions v Bulls, Emirates Airlines Park 17:05
    10 April 2015
    • Blues v Brumbies, Eden Park 09:35

    Logs

    Rank Team P W Pts

    Opinion Poll

    Sharks centre Frans Steyn has been found NOT GUILTY of a dangerous tip-tackle against the Chiefs. Your thoughts?

    Monday Quiz Madness!

    TAKE THE QUIZ
    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.