Wales wary of Cooper threat
Cardiff - Wales flyhalf Stephen Jones has singled out opposite number Quade Cooper as the danger man ahead of Saturday's showdown with Australia in Cardiff.
The veteran Welsh No 10 has played against virtually every major flyhalf in world rugby since making his Test debut in 1998 but admits that Cooper's unconventional style makes him hard to categorise.
"He is a quality player," said Jones, who is set to win his 92nd cap at the Millennium Stadium this weekend.
"In a lot of senses, he is different to anything else out there. His footwork is fantastic, his kicking game is very good and he poses defences a lot of problems.
"His footwork is so good he very rarely gets wrapped up in the tackle and, because of that, he off-loads a lot.
"You very rarely see him die with the ball or go fully into contact with it. He just sees things very early.
"At the back, we've got to make sure we mark as much space as we can. We can't give this guy big chunks of field to aim at because he will make us pay."
The Wallabies backs were outstanding in last weekend's victory over the All Blacks in Hong Kong, when a last-gasp try and conversion stunned the New Zealanders.
The potency of the Australian backs, featuring the likes of Cooper, Matt Giteau, Will Genia, Adam Ashley-Cooper, James O'Connor, Drew Mitchell and Kurtley Beale had given Wales plenty of food for thought, said Jones.
"We are fully aware of Australia's attacking ability," Jones said.
"They've got a young and exciting back-line, they play a certain style and they play it very well.
"But there is only so much analysis we can do in the two weeks we are together prior to the game."
Wales coach Warren Gatland is to name his starting line-up on Thursday, forced to juggle his resources after injuries deprived him of Lee Byrne, Leigh Halfpenny, Jamie Roberts, Jonathan Davies and Ryan Jones.