'Weird' week for Cooper, preparing to play Wallabies

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Barbarians captain Quade Cooper says it will be ‘weird’ facing off against many of his Test teammates when they take on the Wallabies on Saturday afternoon.

The 70-Test flyhalf, on the NSW north coast ahead of the Barbarians’ tour opener against the Classic Wallabies, said it wouldn’t be easy being on the other side.

“It’ll be difficult, because obviously I've represented Australia a few times,” he said.

“It’s a team I’m very passionate about, it’ll be weird going up against them. but I’m very much looking forward to it.

Quade Cooper feels 'weird' preparing to play the Wallabies. Photo: TLA“I’m also looking forward to the opportunity to put on the Barbarians jumper as a long standing tradition.

“It’s something I’ve always enjoyed watching ,always wanted to be a part of. I’m very fortunate to be a part of it.

Cooper was omitted from the Wallabies squad ahead of the Rugby Championship, plying his trade with Brisbane City in the NRC while the Test squad took on the All Blacks, Pumas and Springboks.

The skipper won’t be leading the Barbarians out in Lismore on Tuesday when they take on the Classic Wallabies, after playing a full NRC game just three days earlier.

Coach Alan Jones said he was working on trying to change the way the team played ahead of Saturday’s Sydney match-up.

“I know you can’t do that overnight but there’s too much of the modern game where everyone’s on the ground, the ruck-maul seems to dominate, there’s no ball in the air,” he said, after their first session together..

Alan Jones brought out the trackpants on the Gold Coast. Photo: TLA“So we did that tonight, they seem to be happy about it, that’s the main thing.

“They’ll have a tank full of petrol on Saturday, that’s the main thing.

“We’ll provide something for the audience as well, for everyone who comes through the turnstiles and hopefully be faithful to the Barbarians tradition.

Tuesday’s game will feature a number of Aussie youngsters, with former Reds 10 Sam Greene steering the team in Cooper’s absence.

Drew MItchell will play his first Classic Wallabies match in the clash, kicking off at 5:30pm AEDT at Epsom Huntingley field Lismore, with funds being raised for the Lismore Flood Appeal.

The Barbarians take on the Classic Wallabies in Lismore on Tuesday night, kicking off at 5:30pm AEDT, LIVE on RUGBY.com.au.

The Barbarians take on the Wallabies at Allianz Stadium on Saturday October 28, kicking off at 3pm AEDT LIVE on FOX SPORTS and Network Ten.