Thu 2 Sep 2021 | 01:22

Call for Wallabies to unleash Cooper on All Blacks

Call for Wallabies to unleash Cooper on All Blacks
Thu 2 Sep 2021 | 01:22
Call for Wallabies to unleash Cooper on All Blacks
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Former Wallabies back Dane Haylett-Petty would love to see Quade Cooper unleashed in Sunday’s Bledisloe Cup grudge match against New Zealand in Perth.

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Cooper was a shock inclusion in the extended squad for the Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship series, but he was overlooked for selection in the match-day squad for the opening two matches in Auckland last month.

Australia were beaten 33-25 in game one, before copping a 57-22 hammering a week later in a result that guaranteed the All Blacks the Bledisloe Cup for yet another year.

With James O’Connor still injured and the pressure building on flyhalf Noah Lolesio, Wallabies coach Dave Rennie is giving serious consideration to handing Cooper some game time at Optus Stadium on Sunday.

Cooper last played for the Wallabies in 2017 and is eager to add to his 70 Tests if the opportunity arises.

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“It would be great to see him back out there,” Haylett-Petty said on Thursday.

“He’s one player that’s never stopped learning. He’s getting better and better.

“I know the players around him would be learning so much from him.”

Rennie and his playing squad were left fuming last month when New Zealand Rugby did a backflip and decided against sending the All Blacks to Perth for what was meant to be an August 28 clash.

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The fixture was eventually rescheduled to this Sunday, but not before a bitter exchange of words between the unions.

Haylett-Petty is sure the emotion will still be burning among the Wallabies players, but he warned them not to go overboard.

“You’ve got to be careful. You don’t want to be too emotional going into the game,” he said.

“[But] without a doubt there’ll be a little bit more to play for having been put off for a couple of weeks.”

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