Cooper leads race for Wallaby No.10 jersey
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Another Rebels’ win aided by another sensational performance by Quade Cooper.
The 30-year-old continued his impressive return to Super Rugby – after a year in exile last season – as his side, the Rebels withheld an unbeaten Highlanders side, who came agonisingly close to snatching the victory at the end.
It was the Rebels’ first win against a New Zealand side since 2015, and although the Highlanders were missing a number of All Blacks, Cooper’s side were still impressive during the 24-19 win.
The mercurial playmaker’s deft hands put Jack Maddocks in for a try in the first half, and he orchestrated Billy Meakes’ try early in the second half with a grubber kick.
In only two games this season, he has shown that he has not lost his creative influence, and his control over the game looks better than ever.
Of course, Cooper still has weaknesses, particularly his defence, but he hasn’t seemed to have lost anything in attack.
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Cooper’s performance has certainly enhanced his recall to the Wallabies squad ahead of the World Cup.
And although it is early days, Wallabies head coach Micheal Cheika has not ruled out selecting the Reds’ discard following the impressive in Round one of the Super Rugby season.
However, there is major competition for the jersey from Bernard Foley, Christian Lealiifano and Matt Toomua, nonetheless, Cooper seems to be leading the charts for the slot.
While Foley is the incumbent 10 for the Wallabies, some are arguing that he cannot do what Cooper can on the field at times – particular when it comes to attack.
Then again, Cooper has never been as dependable as Foley, and the debate of their clash of styles looks like it will re-emerge this season.
By Josh Raisey, Rugbypass