The big news, and surprise, to some Wallabies fans came in the form of the headline making decison ‘Quade Cooper cut from Australia squad’.
But head coach Michael Cheika is looking piece together a team capable of taking on the All Blacks in four weeks time. He has been forced to make some decisions that will lead news items in the great Southern land of Australia.
Cooper has had an indifferent season for both the Queensland Reds in Super Rugby, and the Wallabies. Knowing that, it is not a huge surprise that Cheika has dropped the Queenslander.
Quade Cooper Cut From Australia Squad
Speaking about the precocious back Cheika said;
“One of the big things is for him to look like he’s enjoying his footy and getting out there and really being a competitor for that ten jersey.”
The door is not closed to Cooper, but Cheika has clearly not seen enough positives this season to warrant his inclusion in the squad. Cooper being dropped leaves Bernard Foley as the only specialist number ten in the squad, though the recall of utility back Kurtley Beale will alleviate some of the pressure on Foley.
Beale (above picture) had a hugely impressive season for Wasps in the Northern hemisphere competition. He made 17 appearances and scored five tries. His influential performances in the the Wasps back line were one of the driving forces behind their run to the Premiership Final, which he unfortunately was forced to miss due to injury.
Wasps fans will have spent the days since the final pondering what could have been–if only the Australian had of been available to play in the grand final at Twickenham.
Beale’s selection is as close to a like-for-like replacement for Quade Cooper as you can get. Both are utility players capable of playing anywhere across the back line. Both hugely talented ‘wildcard’ players that have not always lived up to their potential. Both players can win or lose you a match in the blink of an eye with either a moment of magic…. or madness.
It’s not surprising then that Wallabies coach Michael Cheika opted to include ‘just one wildcard player’ in his squad.
Full Australian Training Squad:
Forwards: Jermaine Ainsley, Adam Coleman, Pek Cowan, Jack Dempsey, Kane Douglas, Sef Fa’agase, Tetera Faulkner, Ned Hanigan, Richard Hardwick, Michael Hooper, Sekope Kepu, Adam Korczyk, Tolu Latu, Sean McMahon, Stephen Moore (captain), Tatafu Polota-Nau, Tom Robertson, Izack Rodda, Rob Simmons, Lopeti Timani, Taniela Tupou, Jordan Uelese.
Backs: Kurtley Beale, Israel Folau, Bernard Foley, Will Genia, Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Karmichael Hunt, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Campbell Magnay, Billy Meakes, Eto Nabuli, Sefa Naivalu, Izaia Perese, Nick Phipps, Curtis Rona.
“Main photo credit”