Brisbane - Sonny Bill Williams has leapt to the defence of out-of-favour Wallabies playmaker and friend, Quade Cooper, and predicted he would prove his critics wrong.
Cooper was left out of the Australian squad
to play the touring British and Irish Lions but the Sydney Morning Herald's website
reports that Williams says Cooper would bounce back.
''Quade is one of my real good mates and to me he is the best No.10 in this country by a long shot,'' Williams said.
''There are some good and talented players, but that is just my opinion. The selectors and the powers that be have other opinions so we will see how it goes.''Deans questioned Cooper's defence
and said he needed to be more ''assertive'' in attack but Williams thinks otherwise.
''It seems to me that there is a lot of finger pointing, saying he can't do this or he can't do that but I spoke to him and just told him he needed to be patient and let his talent do the talking,'' Williams said.
''It is pretty tough to come back from a knee reconstruction but the last month he has been on fire and he is only going to get better.''
Cooper famously fought as Williams undercard
when the latter went onto controversially beat Francois Botha
in a heavyweight title fight in Brisbane in February.