Cooper still out

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - JAMIE PANDARAM

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.

GONE: In­jured Wal­la­bies player Karmichael Hunt will miss Aus­tralia’s Bledis­loe Cup cam­paign.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.