Cooper still out
WALLABIES coach Michael Cheika plans to fly to Brisbane to sit down with Quade Cooper in the next month after dropping him from his Bledisloe Cup squad.
Australia suffered a midfield blow when Karmichael Hunt was ruled out for two months after undergoing ankle surgery, but Cheika still refused to bring in Cooper, who is holidaying in Bali.
“We knew when we picked the squad [ Hunt] had been injured in the game. Karmichael is filling a different role there, he’s filling a 12 or back- three player,” Cheika said.
“Kurtley Beale has got that covered with the 10s.
“We’re working on a few other ideas. I’m happy enough with the players we have here now. I don’t think we need to bring anyone.
“Of course when Quade starts playing again, we’ll be having a look.
“I’ll go up between now and then to talk over the things we spoke about around the play, but I’m pretty comfortable with the players we have here now.
“They’re in a good zone and training hard.”
It is expected Cooper will have to play for Brisbane City in the National Rugby Championship starting September to earn a recall to the Wallabies.
Beale and Reece Hodge are the only firm inside centre options for the games against the All Blacks on August 19 in Sydney, and August 26 in Dunedin.
Bernard Foley is the only full- time five- eighth in the training squad, and if he is injured Beale will be his replacement at No. 10.
Hunt made his Test debut in June and started all three Tests for the Wallabies against Fiji, Scotland and Italy.
He showed strong signs, particularly in defence, and would have been a sound option to stop the Kiwi attacking threats of Sonny Bill Williams and Ngani Laumape, who play the inside centre position.