Wallaby coach Robbie Deans has named an additional six players to the Australian squad that will face the British and Irish Lions, with Kurtley Beale being included while Quade Cooper was once again left out.
“We’ve obviously not included him [Cooper] in the additional six at this stage, but as you’ve seen [with injuries], things happen quickly,” said Robbie Deans.
“Quade is a huge talent; we understand what he is capable of.
“We’ve now settled on the squad and we’ll get on with our opportunity,” added the coach.
Deans has instead opted for Rebels playmaker, and close-friend of Cooper, Kurtley Beale.
Beale has been participating in a health clinic for the last few weeks following some alcohol-related incidences, but Deans feels that Beale has “”presented himself in the right physical and mental shape”.”
On the other side of the camps, Lions coach Warren Gatland spoke highly of Quade Cooper following the match between the Lions and Reds on Saturday.
“He just plays with a different threat. With Quade you get the full bag of tricks. You’ve got to watch him – the quick taps and stuff,” Gatland said.
“If someone else plays No.10 [for the Wallabies], you’ll get more structure.”
Former Wallaby Brendan Cannon also praised Cooper, saying that he processes “an array of skills that is unmatched”.
“No other player in this country can pass with the width and accuracy that he does, and that tested the Lions on numerous occasions,” Cannon said.
“What we saw last night was the kind of expansive play that can defeat the Lions over three Tests.”
Wallabies squad: Adam Ashley-Cooper, Berrick Barnes, Kurtley Beale, Nick Cummins, Israel Folau, Will Genia, Rob Horne, Digby Ioane, Christian Leali’ifano, Pat McCabe, James O’Connor, Nick Phipps, Joe Tomane, Ben Alexander, Dave Dennis, Kane Douglas, Saia Fainga’a, Liam Gill, Michael Hooper, James Horwill (capt), Sekope Kepu, Peter Kimlin, Ben McCalman, Hugh McMeniman, Stephen Moore, Ben Mowen, Wycliff Palu, Benn Robinson, Rob Simmons, Scott Sio, James Slipper