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He is the Mr Reliable of the Qantas Wallabies backline. No matter what position he plays – centre, wing, fullback – Adam Ashley-Cooper never fails to deliver, always giving one hundred percent for his team and country.
No matter what the circumstances Ashley-Cooper never fails to have a good game, pulling off key plays at big moments. Indeed if the Wallabies had a team of 23 Ashley-Coopers on the field, Australian Rugby fans wouldn’t be complaining.
If you ask him the 29-year-old would probably happily pack down in the front row or jump in the lineout, such is his unwavering commitment to the cause.
The 88 Test veteran was again among the Men of Gold’s best in the narrow loss to England at Twickenham on Saturday.
Like the rest of the team and coaching staff “Adam Ash” was left to rue the one that got away. The Wallabies led 13-6 at half time but the game slipped away from them in the second period as they were kept scoreless and England scored twice to snatch the Cook Cup back, winning 20-13.
"In the first half ... they were probably playing a little bit better football, but we were on top in terms of the scoreboard and we took a lot of confidence out of that," explained Ashley-Cooper to the media after the match.
"It was the first time we had actually entered their 22 and gained the pill, and we'd scored points and got a try.
"That's all we needed to do in the second half, just get down the right end of the field, win some set-piece and build pressure."
The Wallabies have become known for strong second half performances since Ewen McKenzie took over as coach, but that surprisingly was not the case in London.
"It is something that we prided ourselves on over the last couple of games, really performing well in the second half," said Ashley-Cooper.
"We felt that we were in a good position to not only win the game but probably win the game well, taking into account the score line and the momentum we had coming out of the first half."
"We knew they'd have line speed in defence, we knew that they'd be strong at set-piece time ... We knew their strengths.”
"For us it was about executing the game plan that we'd prepared all week and we didn't do that."
Ashley-Cooper has scored 25 tries in his Test career since literally being pulled from the stands to make his debut against South Africa in Perth in 2005.
But it was saving tries where he excelled at Twickenham, and he was left sporting a nasty swollen left eye after making a try-saving tackle on England winger Marland Yarde in the few minutes leading up to Chris Robshaw's try.
But wild horses wouldn’t stop him from taking the field against Italy in Turin this Saturday (1AM Sunday November 10th AEDT)
And as always when something good happens for the Wallabies, look closely – Adam Ashley-Cooper will be right at the centre of it.
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