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Deans not shutting door on Beale, Cooper

Date
Star rise: Israel Folau has been named in a preliminary Wallabies squad after seven Super Rugby games.

Star rise: Israel Folau has been named in a preliminary Wallabies squad after seven Super Rugby games. Photo: Getty Images

Robbie Deans insists ‘‘the door is not closed’’ on Quade Cooper and Kurtley Beale despite the high-profile playmakers being overlooked for a 30-man Wallabies camp to prepare for the blockbuster British and Irish Lions series.

Cooper conceded earlier this week that he’d been overlooked, while Beale was always going to be omitted on Friday after being stood down indefinitely following an alcohol-fuelled altercation with Melbourne Rebels teammate Cooper Vuna in South Africa.

But Deans’ naming of James O’Connor, Berrick Barnes - who was picked despite only 16 minutes for the NSW Waratahs this season - and untried Brumby Christian Leali’ifano highlighted a glaring hole in the Wallabies’ playmaking roles.

Out: Quade Cooper.

Out: Quade Cooper. Photo: Getty Images

Deans, though, noted that the 30-man squad contained several rookies - and considerably more forwards than backs - for merely insurance purposes should the Wallabies be hit with untimely injuries before the Lions arrive.

He said he’d been in contact with Cooper and Beale and advised both that they, and others including Test regulars Sekope Kepu, Drew Mitchell and Nick Phipps, still had time to press for selection.

‘‘Kurtley’s obviously not playing at the moment. He’s sought help, which is great, so he’s going through a counselling process,’’ Deans said.

‘‘He’s got to go through that first and that’s got to run its course and, if and when he becomes available, we’d consider it then.

‘‘He’d return to the Rebels and play so we’d obviously observe with interest.’’

Likewise, Cooper remains in the picture, with Deans insistent that the enigmatic five-eighth was not being further punished for his well-documented criticism of the Wallabies’ so-called ‘‘toxic’’ culture.

‘‘There’s something like eight rounds to go before we gather for the Lions tour,’’ Deans said.‘‘So there’s still a lot of rugby to be played, a lot of water to go under the bridge and a lot of opportunity for everyone to press their claims.’’

Deans has invited seven uncapped players, including former rugby league Test star Israel Folau, to the two-day camp in Sydney.

The Brumbies have been rewarded for the ACT side’s strong start to the Super Rugby season with 11 players named, including six yet to play Test rugby - headed by bolter prop Scott Sio.

Sio only made his Super Rugby starting debut in the past month but appears to have pushed regular Wallabies front-rower Kepu out of the current reckoning.No.8 Fotu Auelua, back-rower Ben Mowen, halfback Nic White, Leali’ifano and fullback Jesse Mogg are the other uncapped Brumbies involved.

Fifty players attended the first in January, while 30 gathered at the second two-day assembly in February, but Sio, Auelua, Mowen and Mogg weren’t even on Deans’ extended radar at the start of the year.

Despite their rocky start to 2013, the Waratahs boast 10 players, while Queensland have seven and the Melbourne Rebels two.

Deans will select his top 25 players for the Lions series on May 19, and those will enter Wallabies camp on June 3.

He said the last camp would allow players to complete pre-tour commercial obligations, as well as take part in specific rugby-related planning.

‘‘It’s a logistics camp,’’ he said. ‘‘Now we’re up to about 56 blokes who have been involved at various points in time and it’s about ensuring that we don’t get blindsided.‘‘

There’s a number of blokes in this camp who haven’t been with us previously and there’s a lot of peripheral activity around the Lions tour because it is such a rare event.’’

AAP

Wallabies camp squad: Jesse Mogg (Brumbies), Israel Folau (Waratahs), Digby Ioane (Reds), Joe Tomane (Brumbies), Adam Ashley-Cooper (Waratahs), Ben Tapuai (Reds), Pat McCabe, Christian Lealiifano (Brumbies), Berrick Barnes (Waratahs), James O'Connor (Rebels), Nic White (Brumbies), Will Genia (Reds), Wycliff Palu (Waratahs), Fotu Auelua (Brumbies), Michael Hooper (Waratahs), Liam Gill (Reds), Dave Dennis (Waratahs), Scott Higginbotham (Rebels), Ben Mowen (Brumbies), Rob Simmons, James Horwill (Reds), Kane Douglas, Sitaleki Timani (Waratahs), Dan Palmer (Brumbies), James Slipper (Reds), Ben Alexander (Brumbies), Benn Robinson (Waratahs), Scott Sio, Stephen Moore (Brumbies), Tatafu Polota Nau (Waratahs)

 

33 comments so far

  • The selection of Israel Folau is a slap in the face to all those Union Backs who have shown a long-term commitment to the game. So was the $440k top-up from the ARU!! No way that he knows enough about playing Rugby Union to be a Test player.

    How kind you are to the Waratahs: "Despite their rocky start to the season...."..The Waratahs are the perennial under-achievers in Super Rugby despite being based in the home-land and having buckets of $$s poured their way.

    I do like the fact that the Tahs keep the Western Force hopes up of being top of Super XV before the Tahs....I'd like to see that!!! Especially with Foles at the helm!!

    Commenter
    AndrewWA
    Location
    Perth
    Date and time
    April 12, 2013, 9:24PM
    • Deans has just got enough time to ruin 1 more career before he goes. His 1st career kill as Wallabies coach was Timana Tahu so he might as well get some symmetry & kill another league converts career for his last

      Commenter
      Camomatic
      Date and time
      April 12, 2013, 9:51PM
      • Tahu was hopeless and conned us. Seen better centres in Black Magic chocolates! When are we going to stop the "love affair with league" including Folau. Will he ever even attend a Rugby match once he has milked Rugby of the money. Give me grass roots players.

        Commenter
        tahrahrah
        Location
        sydney
        Date and time
        April 13, 2013, 12:20PM
      • George Smith and Matt Giteau are another couple

        Commenter
        Andy
        Date and time
        April 14, 2013, 1:03PM
    • Once again NSW players have more representatives in the squad than they deserve. What is it with coach Deans and the ARU and their desire to ensure the Wallabies never field the best team. Is it mandated that the worse the Waratah's play, the more they should represent Australia. Disappointingly another rugby league blow-in gets selected ahead of good talent again. C'mon! haven't we learnt from the past. No wonder Rugby continues to lose ground in Australia against the other codes. I'm glad I didn't fork out $300 to watch them in Brisbane in June.

      Commenter
      Ashman
      Date and time
      April 12, 2013, 9:58PM
      • Not one Force player in the squad. Doesn't look good for rugby in WA.

        Commenter
        Miner
        Location
        Perth
        Date and time
        April 12, 2013, 11:04PM
        • Berrick Barnes picked and Cooper left out. I can't believe the Australian powers within rugby allo this sort of behavior from the Nation coach. It is disgraceful that Barnes is included and not Cooper. Robbie Deans is worst thing to ever happen to Australian Rugby.

          Commenter
          American Chuck
          Location
          Brisbane
          Date and time
          April 12, 2013, 11:23PM
          • Cooper has hardly covered himself with glory on the international stage and he has had a very public swipe at the wallabies. He and Beale have to make it impossible not to pick them. And not just threaten to defect to league. Good on Cooper for giving it a go though. Yet to see what Beale does. He was the best NSW fullback since Latham. 2 years ago he was world 15 in that position.

            Commenter
            Nato
            Location
            Sydney
            Date and time
            April 17, 2013, 11:38AM
        • Excellent news and hopefully shows we are on the right track. How long will the media desperately push the Deans Vs Cooper issue. Blind Freddy can see it's more of a team Vs Cooper; he's talented but moreso than other 10's running around? I'm a reds fan but over the moon Deans has selected the majority of the Brumbies backline. For mine
          15 Mogg
          14 Tomane
          13
          12
          11 Ioane
          10 Christian Lealiifano
          9 Genia

          Who in the centres? Surely not AAC again. Surely not...

          Commenter
          UKAUSSIE
          Location
          UK
          Date and time
          April 12, 2013, 11:58PM
          • You obviously haven't been watching how brilliant AAC has been this season at 13? Or was that a trolling comment?

            Commenter
            Lillee
            Location
            Sydney
            Date and time
            April 16, 2013, 10:28AM

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