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'I'm not at all worried': Cooper 'enjoying the journey' after Achilles injury

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Wallabies flyhalf Quade Cooper has opened up about his “incredible and smooth journey” following a season-ending Achilles injury during last year’s Rugby Championship.

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Test veteran Cooper had a tough season in 2022.

The star pivot was ruled out of the Wallabies’ first test of the year against England after he injured his calf in the warm-up.

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After a fairly lengthy stint on the sidelines, which ruled him out of the entire series against England, Cooper picked up another injury later in the year against Argentina.

Playing in the No. 10 jersey against Los Pumas in Mendoza, Cooper ruptured his Achilles during the 41-26 win.

Quade Cooper’s international season was over before it really began.

The 34-year-old took no part in the rest of the international campaign, but did join the squad in the Gold Coast this week for a four-day training camp.

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Cooper, who was one of five players to start at first-five for the Wallabies last year, was included in Dave Rennie’s 44-player squad which was named last week.

Reflecting on the injury process, Cooper was adamant that he has “no doubts about coming back to rugby.”

“I have no doubts about coming back to rugby but for me, the process of this whole journey has been more about discipline and what I choose to work on as a person which is everyday things,” Cooper told reporters.

“The better and more disciplined around how I act, the better the outcome will be with this injury.

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“I’m not at all worried about coming back and how well I’ll play, I’m just enjoying the journey so far.”

The Wallabies had a disastrous campaign last year, where they failed to win as many games as they probably deserved.

While they fought valiantly week after week, their pool discipline cost them in some tight test matches – with the Wallabies left to rue missed opportunities against some of the world’s best teams.

Australia avoided their worst season since 1958 with a incredible comeback win over Wales in Cardiff, which was spearheaded by two-try hero Mark Nawaqanitawase.

Rising star Ben Donaldson started that test match at the Principality Stadium, as he came the fifth player to run out in the golden No. 10 jersey.

Rugby may be a results driven industry, but isn’t all doom and gloom just yet.

As Cooper discussed, “there were some great things to come out of” Australia’s five-match spring tour.

“Having some young guys who haven’t had a lot of opportunities to get their chance to show what they have, a lot of them stepped up and in preparation for a World Cup, you want to see as many guys as you can play,” he added.

“The goal is to win those games but the only way you get that experience is by allowing people the opportunity. There were some highs and lows but that’s footy.

“My focus is always on the process and how I can get myself better and give myself the best opportunity whenever I’m in the team to do the best I can.

“As we continue to build, we hope this team and being in camp now around the group, we just want to get better as a group and peak at the right time.”

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