Ashley-Cooper dreaming of another World Cup
NOVEMBER SPOTLIGHT: The 2019 World Cup has always been on Adam Ashley-Cooper’s mind over the last few seasons.
An injury to Reece Hodge opened the door for the 116-Test veteran to be included in Michael Cheika’s squad for the November internationals. Ahead of Australia’s Test against Wales in Cardiff on Saturday, Ashley-Cooper admitted that his call-up came as a surprise.
Ashley-Cooper went to France after the 2015 World Cup and more recently he is plying his trade in Japan. It might have seemed that his Wallaby career was over while playing overseas, but the 34-year-old still had a strong desire to win the World Cup.
“I’ve had three cracks so there was still a bit of fire in the stomach post-2015,” he told reporters in Cardiff.
“I moved overseas to France and I came back to Japan but still with that goal and ambition to win a Rugby World Cup because it was still there.
“I wasn’t expecting to come on tour – there’s an opportunity and there could be the possibility of Super Rugby next year to get to that World Cup but apart from that I wasn’t expecting to come on tour.”
Ashley-Cooper said he did not hesitate at the opportunity to join Cheika’s squad.
“When Cheik rang a couple of weeks ago, I was in Japan playing Top League,” he said.
“He discussed the potential of coming back into the squad and coming on tour and I told him I’d jump at the opportunity.
“Coming back in was really exciting for me and it’s good to be back in the environment. It’s been a couple of years but I’m pretty stoked to be here.”
Ashley-Cooper knows that it might be hard to force himself into the team during the upcoming internationals.
“My focus is to prepare to play,” he said.
“I think through my preparation, I can share things with the younger guys, I have only been here a week I am playing catch-up.
“But I am finding my feet daily and apart from that I am prepping to play, I am not sure if I will get the opportunity to play but if I have the mindset and I am competing than I am sure I am creating healthy competition around the squad.”