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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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Super Rugby 2015

Round 1
Fri, 13 FebTimes shown AEDT
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BRU 47vs RED 3 Stats
Sat, 14 FebTimes shown AEDT
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BLU 18vs CHF 23 Report Stats
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Round 2
Fri, 20 FebTimes shown AEDT
CHF 19vs BRU 17 Report Stats
REB 28vs WAR 38 Report Stats
Sat, 21 FebTimes shown AEDT
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HIG 20vs CRU 26 Report Stats
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SHA 29vs LIO 12 Report Stats
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Round 3
Fri, 27 FebTimes shown AEDT
HIG 20vs RED 13 Report Stats
FOR 13vs HUR 42 Stats
Sat, 28 FebTimes shown AEDT
CHT 25vs BLU 24 Report Stats
CHF 40vs CRU 16 Stats
REB 15vs BRU 20 Report Stats
Sun, 01 MarTimes shown AEDT
BUL 43vs SHA 35 Report Stats
LIO 19vs STO 22 Report Stats
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Round 4
Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
CHF 17vs HIG 20 Report Stats
BRU 27vs FOR 15 Report Stats
Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
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RED 5vs WAR 23 Report Stats
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CHT 20vs BUL 39 Report Stats
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Round 5
Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
HUR 30vs BLU 23 Report Stats
FOR 17vs REB 21 Report Stats
Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
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HIG 26vs WAR 19 Report Stats
RED 0vs BRU 29 Stats
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STO 19vs CHF 28 Report Stats
CHT 10vs SHA 27 Report Stats
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Round 6
Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
HIG 13vs HUR 20 Report Stats
REB 16vs LIO 20 Report Stats
Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
CRU 57vs CHT 14 Report Stats
Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
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SHA 12vs CHF 11 Report Stats
WAR 28vs BRU 13 Report Stats
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Round 7
Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
HUR 36vs REB 12 Report Stats
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Round 8
Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
HUR 25vs STO 20 Report Stats
REB 23vs RED 15 Report Stats
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Round 9
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
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Round 10
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
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Round 11
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
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BRU 31vs HIG 18 Report Stats
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Round 12
Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
HIG 48vs SHA 15 Report Stats
BRU 10vs WAR 13 Report Stats
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BUL 35vs LIO 33 Report Stats
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Round 13
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
CRU 58vs RED 17 Report Stats
REB 42vs BLU 22 Report Stats
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Round 14
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
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RED 46vs REB 29 Report Stats
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Round 15
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Round 16
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
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LIO 27vs WAR 22 Report Stats
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Round 17
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
HUR 56vs HIG 20 Report Stats
FOR 20vs BRU 33 Report Stats
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CHT 33vs WAR 58 Report Stats
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Round 18
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
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REB 11vs FOR 13 Report Stats
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Super Rugby Qualifying Finals
Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
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Waratahs 16 11 5 0 96 52
Stormers 16 10 5 1 50 45
Highlanders 16 11 5 0 117 53
Brumbies 16 9 7 0 108 47
Lions 16 9 6 1 -22 42
Chiefs 16 10 6 0 73 48
Bulls 16 7 9 0 9 38
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