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Beale hopes Cooper will return, just not at No.10

"He's a class player. Once he's right and gets his body right and gets his knee right  ... It's really up to him" ... Kurtley Beale on Quade Cooper.

"He's a class player. Once he's right and gets his body right and gets his knee right ... It's really up to him" ... Kurtley Beale on Quade Cooper. Photo: Glenn Hunt

KURTLEY BEALE knew the question was coming. He had held court in the middle of a Wallabies media conference for 15 minutes, chatting about challenges and Rosario and Nick Phipps, before the elephant in the room was broached.

So without further ado … no, he has not spoken to his best mate turned rogue Wallaby Quade Cooper, although it is likely he will do so later this week, given the side is preparing in Cooper's home town of Brisbane for Saturday night's final Bledisloe Cup match at Suncorp Stadium.

And yes, he hopes Cooper can somehow find a way to remain in the code, even if it would be slightly preferential if the Reds wizard was to return to the Wallabies squad in another position, since Beale is enjoying himself in the No.10 jersey.

The success in Argentina and the resignation of John O'Neill have given Australian rugby some alternative points of discussion, but the spectre of Cooper and his very public stoush with management continues to hurtle towards Camp Wallaby like Felix Baumgartner minus the parachute.

If anyone in the team would have an insight into whether Cooper is planning to pull the ripcord for a soft landing, it would be Beale, who along with James O'Connor makes up rugby's talented but controversial ''Three Amigos''.

That act could become a duo if Cooper cannot mend his deep rift with the Australian Rugby Union, a negotiation on which the outcome of his three-year deal at Ballymore depends. Rugby league is one option should he depart, as are stints playing union in France or Japan.

Beale said he hoped Cooper was not lost to the game after his series of interviews and tweets that labelled the Wallabies atmosphere as ''toxic'' and the game plans of Robbie Deans dull and restrictive.

''I haven't spoken to him,'' Beale said. ''I'll probably catch up with him later in the week. He's just concentrating on rehab. He had the operation on his knee, he's just focusing on getting that right and getting his body right for when he's available next.

''He's a class player. Once he's right and gets his body right and gets his knee right - whatever he wants to do, I respect what he wants to do. It's really up to him.

''You see when he took the Reds to the grand final that year, he was world class. If we can have him in the squad as well … it will definitely help us moving forward.''

Cooper has insisted other players within the Wallabies squad share his views, although none have made a peep in support.

Indeed, the tone of the language from Beale and Phipps pointed to anything but a team on the verge of serious fracture, with both Rebels players speaking of the lift in morale following the 25-19 win in Argentina.

''It's great having the quality of blokes in the team at the moment,'' Phipps said. ''As Kurtley said, the touring really did well for us in how tight the group became. We've got a couple of new blokes coming in as well who are really good value.''

Beale said the gutsy victory over the Pumas had forged new faith in the group and has them thinking anything is possible this weekend.

''There's a lot of belief in the team now,'' Beale said. ''Being on tour really got the boys together. The boys are feeling excited about the challenge of playing the No.1 team in the world … It's a great opportunity … it's a chance to go out there and show what we're really about.''

Beale said he was full of confidence at No.10 after being dropped a month ago for lack of fitness and knows a strong showing against the All Blacks could make the position his own.

''I'm enjoying myself at the 10 position at the moment and it's exciting playing with the guys around me,'' Beale said. ''I feel a lot better. I feel a lot fitter and stronger than I did earlier in the year.''

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Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
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Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
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Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
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Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
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Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA vs RSA 01:00Stadio Plebiscito
SCO vs TGA 01:30Rugby Park
IRE vs AUS 03:30Lansdowne Road
WAL vs NZL 04:30MilS
ENG vs SAM 06:00Twic
FRA vs ARG 07:00StdF
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Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG vs AUS 01:30Twic
WAL vs RSA 01:30MilS
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