May 28, 2012
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Cooper ready to answer Wallaby SOS

Quade Cooper may have only played 120 minutes in two matches back from major knee surgery, but the Wallaby fly-half said Monday he was ready to start against Scotland in Newcastle next week.

The Wallabies have been experiencing a dire run with injuries to their prospective number 10s ahead of the home internationals against the Scots, followed by three Tests with Wales.

Kurtley Beale (shoulder), fellow Melbourne Rebels star James O'Connor (liver laceration) and Brumbies pivot Christian Lealiifano (knee) are all sidelined leaving Cooper as the only specialist number 10 in Robbie Deans' 39-man train-on squad announced on Sunday.

The injuries have increasing Cooper's chances of regaining the jersey after shaky performances at last year's World Cup in New Zealand.

The mercurial Queenslander ruptured knee ligaments himself in the World Cup play-off for third place against the Welsh seven months ago.

But 24-year-old made an impressive 40-minute return in the Reds' 34-20 Super 15 win over the Golden Lions before playing out the whole 80 minutes in Saturday's 13-12 victory over the ACT Brumbies.

Despite his limited playing time, Cooper believes he is ready to lead the Wallabies' attack against the Scots.

"I'm very confident. I've only played one game and a half and felt good when I was out there," Cooper said.

"It's a matter of just keep ticking the boxes and keep moving along. If I get the opportunity, I'll put my hand up and give it everything I've got."

AFP

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