Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

Copper in line for Wallabies recall

Quade Cooper is in line for an Australia call-up

Quade Cooper is poised to return to the Australia team for Saturday's Rugby Championship clash with New Zealand in Auckland.

Cooper was left out of the opening Bledisloe Cup fixture against the All Blacks at ANZ Stadium last weekend, which the Wallabies lost 27-19, but a sizeable injury list - coupled with below-par performances from a number of key players - has prompted coach Robbie Deans to look at bringing back the dynamic Cooper.

"We certainly need to re-adjust our thinking on our selection," assistant coach Tony McGahan said. "Quade was very close to selection last week and he's certainly been discussed so far this week."

Word from the All Blacks camp is that they've been planning for Cooper, with reserve fly-half Aaron Cruden reportedly pretending to be Cooper during training by copying his style of play.

Australia have not won at Eden Park for 26 years - their most recent defeat there was in last year's Rugby World Cup semi-final.

"We're certainly aware that that sort of record, that sort of history, is in the background," McGahan said.

"It's really about having really good clarity on your issues that you need to address this week and focusing on this as a stand-off match, because it is. If we get the result we come back to Brisbane for an opportunity to win the trophy."

Deans will name his squad for the game on Thursday morning.

Meanwhile, Queensland Reds flanker Liam Gill could make debut for the Wallabies on Saturday.

The 20-year-old did not feature in last weekend's loss, but is expected to take Michael Hooper's place on the bench, while Hooper is likely to take over from the injured David Pocock in the starting line-up.

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