Code-hopping rugby star Sonny Bill Williams has chimed in on the exclusion of friend and Reds’ flyhalf, Quade Cooper, from the 25-man squad to play the British & Irish Lions.
“Quade is one of my real good mates. To me he is the best number 10 in this country by a long shot,” said 27-year old Williams.
“There is some good players, talented players, but that is just my opinion. The selectors and the powers that be have other opinions,” added Williams.
Wallaby coach Robbie Deans previously expressed that he needed to see Cooper evolve his defensive qualities before he’d consider him.
Dean has since expressed his interest in using young Rebels star James O’Connor in the playmaking position.
Williams also then gave some advice for his friend and former Super Rugby and international rival.
“It seems to me there is a lot of, not excuses, but a lot of finger pointing saying, ‘He can’t do this, he can’t do that,” Williams said.
“I spoke to him and said just be patient, let his talent do the talking.”
The former All Black also gave some complimentary words on another league-to-union convert, Israel Folau.
“It is exciting to see him play,’ Williams said. “I said a couple of weeks ago that he is one of those guys that has that thing that you can’t really coach.
“I wish I had that, just being able to beat players with ease like that, you know what I mean.
“But I will be like every other guy, just waiting to see how he goes and I’m pretty sure he’ll do well.”
The Wallabies’ first test against the Lions will take place in Brisbane on 22 June 2013.