SBW: Cooper will bounce back

by staff

All Black Sonny Bill Williams believes Quade Cooper's past woes at Eden Park will only serve to fire up the Wallaby on his return to the ground.

After missing the first Test in Sydney last Saturday, Cooper has been recalled to the No.10 jersey as the Wallabies try to keep their Bledisloe Cup hopes alive in Auckland on Saturday night.

The mercurial playmaker endured a torrid time in New Zealand during last year's World Cup, labelled as public enemy No.1 after some perceived cheap shots at All Blacks' skipper Richie McCaw in previous trans-Tasman clashes.

He had a mixed performance in Australia's semi-final defeat to the All Blacks at Eden Park, and his tournament ended with a serious knee injury in the third-place playoff against Wales at the same venue.

But Williams, the All Blacks' inside centre, suggests the past won't provide any demons for Cooper.

"That will just feed his motivation," he said on Thursday.

Williams said Cooper's inclusion meant the All Blacks would have to be on their toes to nullify the Wallabies' counter-attack.

While the New Zealand-born Cooper can expect to be targeted again by home fans, Williams is good mates with him.

"We're in touch a fair bit," he said.

"He's a good man. He's a bit like me, in the sense where a lot of people have already made their minds up, I guess, to not like you."

Williams, who will be making his 19th and last Test appearance before heading to a lucrative club contract in Japan and then a return to the NRL next year, described Cooper as "a good guy".

"He's a good mate to have," he said.

"We chat occasionally but, when it gets on to the field, I know he'll be looking to play well and bring the Wallabies home, and vice versa."