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Trio of stars better suited in Wallabies squad: Brisbane City's NRC coach Nick Stiles

Quade Cooper could be in line for game time with Brisbane City in the NRC in bid to return to the Wallabies.

Quade Cooper could be in line for game time with Brisbane City in the NRC in bid to return to the Wallabies. Photo: Getty Images

Former Wallabies prop and Brisbane City head coach Nick Stiles could be rubbing his hands in delight at the thought of having three contracted Wallabies on his National Rugby Championship roster - but if all things go to plan, he hopes they don’t play.

Stiles, a loosehead prop who played 12 Tests for the Wallabies from 2001-2002, hopes that James Horwill, Will Genia and Quade Cooper will be all back where he feels they belong in the Wallabies green and gold as soon as possible.

Stiles has lost his trademark prop physique having taken up running half-marathons. But his mind is still very much on the job of rugby as the Queensland Reds forwards coach prepares his Brisbane City for their NRC opener against Sydney City at Ballymore next Thursday.

In the back of his mind he knows there is a chance that Horwill, who missed out on the 23 man Wallabies squad for Saturday’s Bledisloe Cup match in Sydney, Genia and Cooper - who are on the comeback trail from injury - could play for him.

However, in reality, he expects that Genia and Cooper will get some game time.

Asked about the possibility of Horwill donning the Brisbane strip, Stiles said: “He is named in our squad.  It will be more to do [with] what the Wallabies want to do with him.

“Second row is not a position where there is a lot of depth in Australia, and it’s a pretty abrasive position, the second row. I am sure he will be used in the Wallabies sooner than later, but it would be great to have him running around with us.”

However, Stiles has been encouraged by Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie’s policy on allowing the use of Wallabies squad members not being needed for Test duty.

“Ewen has already been very good in his communication with us saying he wants players not involved in the Wallabies to be playing NRC,” Stiles said.

“Guys like Jimmy and other players involved in the Wallabies squad during the week, once it gets to the end of the week if they feel there is a need for them to play, they will push them back to NRC which gives the competition more credibility as well.”

Stiles expects Horwill will have been disappointed by his selection snub.

“Jimmy is a very proud and passionate footballer. He wears his emotions on his chest for everyone to see,” Stiles said.

“Probably the hardest thing is that I reckon he has probably had his most consistent year than what he has had over the last few years.

“He hasn’t been injured. He has played the full season with the Reds.

“So while he would be disappointed, he probably feels he is in a better position to push for section on the back of what he has done for the Reds.

“There is now competition through all positions. James will rise to that competition.”

As for Genia and Cooper, Stiles says the NRC will assist their return from injuries,

“Previously, if they were returning from injuries they would have no rugby to get themselves back to game ready and to be in a position where they could push for Wallabies section. Having this competition is great for those guys,” Stiles said.

“It’s obviously not Super Rugby. It’s not international rugby, but it will be much higher than club rugby.

“And it also gives players from club land an opportunity to play with internationals.”

Stiles understands that right now: “Their main focus is just getting the rehab right.

“We’ve only had limited meetings and training sessions, but they have been involved in those. But as they get closer to a return to play they’ll get more heavily involved.”

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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
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
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
View All Fixtures
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
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG 26 vs AUS 17 Report Stats
WAL 12 vs RSA 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
 
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