21 July, 2017, 12:00 am
WALLABIES coach Michael Cheika says it was a “big call” for him omit Quade Cooper from his Bledisloe Cup squad but his Super Rugby form didn’t warrant selection.
Cooper was sensationally left out of Cheika’s extended 38-man squad on Wednesday, ahead of the Bledisloe Cup opener on August 19.
While no Brumbies players have been considered yet, due to ongoing Super Rugby commitments, Cheika could not find room for playmaker Cooper in what could be a sign that his international career is all but over.
Cooper, who has played 70 tests for the Wallabies since his debut in 2008 and is now 29, had an underwhelming season with the Reds and it appears that Cheika wants to go in a different direction with the Rugby World Cup just two years away.
“With us, it’s a little different because I haven’t given him a lot of minutes.
“It was difficult for me because I’ve got a good relationship with him. I feel I was pretty instrumental in him coming back, so it was a big call for me. He was obviously very disappointed and you want him to be.
“I’ve had a long talk with him yesterday. One of the big things for him is to look like he’s enjoying his footy and getting out there and really being a competitor for that 10 jersey. We’ve had a talk about the reasons. A lot of that is trying to get him back into a space where he can be that player that’s going to get us around the park and do the stuff we want him to do.
“I don’t feel like that’s been happening and I feel at a certain point I’ve got to look at it.”