BRISBANE - Controversial playmaker Quade Cooper is burning with hunger to win the Wallabies' No.10 jersey back and help beat the British and Irish Lions next year, according to Queensland coach Ewen McKenzie.
Describing Cooper as the most passionate rugby player he's encountered, McKenzie yesterday said his Reds five-eighth was ready to put his problems with Australian rugby behind him and return to top form for 2013.
"While there's been a lot of talk in recent time I've never ever thought that he wasn't passionate about the Reds, about Australian rugby," he said.
The 24-year-old, currently sidelined following knee surgery, will front an Australian Rugby Union code of conduct hearing in Sydney tomorrow where his immediate future will be decided following his public criticisms of the code and Wallabies last month.
Cooper has since met with ARU integrity officer Phil Thompson as well as national coach Robbie Deans, while the QRU has also been in high-level discussions on the subject.