Quade Cooper will be on the plane to England on Sunday in a sign he should play some part of the European tour.
Although Wallabies coach Dave Rennie didn’t elaborate, it appears the Wallabies have won, at least for now, the club vs. country struggle over the No.10, with his Japanese side Kintetsu releasing him to travel, as World Rugby regulations are clear they should.
After four Tests in which Cooper seemed to curb his natural flair for the good of the cause, he produced the best and worst of his repertoire on Saturday, throwing several outrageous no look and behind the back passes but also guilty of throwing an intercept that clearly disappointed his coach.
Also travelling is Reece Hodge despite suffering a pectoral injury that will put the rest of campaign in doubt. He will have scans before a decision is made.
Here’s everything Rennie had to say in the post-match press conference
On the performance overall
“Rusty and fairly frustrating,” is how Rennie summed up the victory in Oita.
“We played a lot of good footy but we just didn’t kick the ball enough. There was a lot of space where we could apply pressure but we tended to over play.
“We got some good go forward but almost got sucked in to going more phases when they had no cover in the back field. That was disappointing and we ended up putting ourselves under pressure because of it.
“We played a lot of rugby in between the 10 metres and certainly late in the game we got penalised a fair bit around there and even the intercept we’ve got a four on one, we’ve just to give to the guy next to us.
“We’re happy to win, we will be better for that game and they were a good side. Everytime we gave them a bit of a sniff they hurt us. ”
Rennie was asked if his team got “sucked in” to a running battle when a slower game might have suited his team better.
“I wouldn’t sucked in either because they were blowing. We thought they were out on their feet a number of times,” said Rennie.
“We lacked a bit of accuracy at key times. We lacked patience. But it was a good learning experience. We got pretty good go forward from a lot of carries but it was a different type of game than what we’ve been playing and different from what we’ll face in the next three games.”
He said he was impressed by Japan.
“They’re a good side,” he said. “They have outstanding staff who have developed genuine depth and they’re only going to get better. They’re worthy of where they’re sitting in the world and certainly grateful to be playing a lot of tier one nations now compared to a few years ago.”
On Hunter Paisami’s return for Samu Kerevi
“We were really happy with Hunter,” said Rennie. “He played 80 minutes which wasa great effort. He was strong. He was strong defensively. He’ll be so much fitter for a run. He’s had a really good week of preparation.”
On JOC’s late entrance
“We left James on the bench longer because Jordie [Petaia, who replaced injured Reece Hodge] was on early. They’re a very fast finishing side traditionally. And we didn’t want him on the pitch with 20 to go. Unfortunately it often happens. James was the one left on the pine for a little bit longer.”
On the performance at the breakdown
“We were pretty good early on but I thought we weren’t so great late in the game,” said Rennie. “Some of that comes from over play. Some of it was entry – poor decision making from an individual perspective.
“We’ll tidy that up. We’re just a little bit rusty around a couple of areas, we’ve done a ot of work around our carry clean and we’ve just got to be better.”