Cooper links up with Wallabies

Rugby World Cup
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

He is yet to make his Super Rugby return but Quade Cooper is already back on the Wallabies radar after linking up with the national camp in Sydney.

The core of the Wallabies' Spring Tour squad has been undergoing conditioning training in Sydney this week but Cooper is among a group that arrived in the camp for the weekend.

Cooper posted to Instagram on Friday night from the Crowne Plaza in Coogee, a hotel frequently used by the Wallabies and visiting international and Super Rugby teams, writing, "First time back here in a while". 

Other Wallabies have been staying at the hotel this week during the camp and posting from the Coogee seafront.

Cooper hasn’t played for the Wallabies since June 2017 and was overlooked for the rest of the squads in that year.

Quade Cooper is in Sydney. Photo: InstagramAfter Reds coach Brad Thorn told him he was not required for the 2018 preseason, Cooper spent the season playing for Brisbane Premier Rugby side Souths, a competition from which the Wallabies said they wouldn’t consider him.

Cooper starred for Brisbane City in the NRC and finally agreed to a new Super Rugby deal with the Rebels in November.

While he was initially keen to stay in Queensland, in club rugby if necessary, but the move to Melbourne was in part due to his desire to return to the Wallabies fold.

"Every player that is playing the game... whether that be Super Rugby, grass roots, you're at school, the ambition is to represent your country," he told at the time.

"I have been fortunate enough to do that 70 plus times so I wouldn't be playing the game if I didn't want to be the best that I could be.

"Whether that eventuates down the track... who knows.

"All I know is that I have signed here and that my coach has a lot of faith in me.

"I have to work hard to do the best I can and put my best foot forward for this team.

"If things eventuate then that's great."

The 30-year-old is among a host of Rebels at the camp with recently returned lock Luke Jones expected to join the group early next week as well.

Australia’s World Cup squad is far from bedded down with Super Rugby yet to begin and more than eight months until their first World Cup match against Fiji.

A Wallabies spokesperson declined to confirm Cooper's inclusion in the camp.

The Wallabies play their first 2019 Test on July 20 against the Springboks in Johannesburg and their first Rugby World Cup pool match on Saturday September 21 against Fiji.