Star Melbourne Rebels playmaker Quade Cooper has moved a step closer to a Wallabies World Cup recall with his inclusion in a squad camp after steering his new Super Rugby team to three straight wins.
Cooper has joined the Test contingent for a three-day camp in Sydney which will involve physical testing and meetings before jetting out to South Africa on Tuesday for two Rebels Super Rugby matches.
The five-eighth turned in another impressive performance in their Friday night win over the Brumbies to push his hopes for a Test return ahead of this year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan starting in September.
In a busy game he set up two important tries – finding Marika Koroibete to open the second half and then sending one soaring wide to young Wallabies winger Jack Maddocks for the 70th minute match-winner.
Cooper hasn’t played a Test since taking on Italy in Brisbane in 2017 and his international career appeared over last year when he was frozen out at the Reds.
But the move south to the Rebels to resume his stellar halves partnership with Will Genia has reignited his hopes of Wallabies return.
Genia said after the Brumbies match Cooper didn’t need to do anything different to impress Wallabies coach Michael Cheika but just needed to maintain his consistency and he would find his way back.
“Quade has been consistent over the first three games and I’m sure he will be hoping that carries on through the season and if he does there’s no reason why he can’t get an opportunity in a gold jersey,” Genia said.
Wallabies lock Adam Coleman failed a head injury assessment (HIA) during the second half of the Brumbies win but will travel to South Africa with their first match against the Lions in Johannesburg Sunday morning Australian time.