Kerevi backs Cooper to rediscover form

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Wallabies centre Samu Kerevi has backed Quade Cooper to re-discover his best form, despite his shock Wallabies omission.

Kerevi made his return to the Wallabies fold this week after missing the June series with an ankle injury, but it was without his long-time Queensland teammate, who was a high-profile absentee from Michael Cheika’s Rugby Championship training squad.

Cooper’s omission was one that surprised players and fans alike, coming after a challenging year at the Reds.The 70-Test Wallabies flyhalf has taken the chance to head on an overseas holiday while the Wallabies are in camp and Kerevi said Cooper was staying positive despite being overlooked.

“I couldn’t sleep one of the nights and I texted him really late just to see, encouraging him and seeing if he’s okay,’ he said.

“He’s having a positive mindset on it, he’s going to work harder on himself and his game.

“He’s a pretty positive guy, so he gets around the guys and it was sad to see but I know he’ll bounce back from it.”

Despite Cooper’s indifferent year, Kerevi had no hesitation in predicting the 29-year-old could rediscover the form that has made him such a high-profile name.

“100 per cent, I have no doubt he’ll get back to that form and once he’s enjoying his footy again, he’ll come back better and stronger, definitely no doubting that.”Michael Cheika spoke to media in Newcastle on Monday. Photo: ARU MediaWallabies coach Michael Cheika on Monday ruled out any immediate recall for Cooper, who was omitted from his initial 38-man training squad, despite an injury to Karmichael Hunt.

“We’re comfortable where we are now,” he said.

“It doesn’t change our dynamic at five-eighth. We’re comfortable with what we’ve got and I wouldn’t be bringing anyone in for Karmichael."

Cheika said he planned to meet Cooper at some point in the coming months, with the flyhalf likely to feature for Brisbane City in the NRC.

“I think he’s having some holidays and then his pathway will be through NRC,” he said.

“I imagine I will have spoken to him face to face and had a chance to go through some of those things.”

The NRC kicks off on September 2, with Brisbane City hosting Fiji at Ballymore in the opening round.