Cooper’s inclusion at the conditioning camp was denied by a Wallabies spokesperson however The Australian reports he was in attendance.
“The most eye-catching selection was that of five-eighth Quade Cooper who has made a significant impression since moving to the Melbourne Rebels from Queensland,” they wrote.
Quade’s absence from the Wallabies stretches back to June 2017, where he last played a Bledisloe test against the All Blacks. He expressed a desire to one day return in the green and gold in an interview with rugby.com.au last year.
“Every player that is playing the game… whether that be Super Rugby, grass roots, you’re at school, the ambition is to represent your country,” he said.
“I have been fortunate enough to do that 70 plus times so I wouldn’t be playing the game if I didn’t want to be the best that I could be.
“Whether that eventuates down the track… who knows.
With the 30-year-old flyhalf joining the Melbourne Rebels on a one-year contract, a return to Super Rugby is imminent which will allow Cooper to put a case forward for inclusion in Michael Cheika’s World Cup squad. With invites to Wallabies camps already calling, a Wallaby re-call may come sooner than that.
“I guess for me it’s that we had some great memories together,” Cooper told rugby.com.au.
“It’s not about remembering the past or anything but just more so getting the opportunity to create some new memories.
“We’re both hit our 30s now, so the memories that we’re able to create in our younger days, they’re some special memories and no one can ever take those away but being able to get the opportunity again to create some new memories I’m really excited about that opportunity. “
“When you build a relationship and a mutual respect for someone, it’s a hard thing to lose,” Cooper said.
“This guy next to me has had some great success throughout his career and I’ve been very fortunate to be a part of a lot of that and also some of it I haven’t been a part of.
We can’t wait to see these two running around AAMI Park together in 2019 ? pic.twitter.com/I0HiUo4aO0
— Melbourne Rebels (@MelbourneRebels) January 16, 2019
Genia is also relishing the chance to play with Cooper again, having been highly influential for the Reds for a number of years and piloting the club to their first Super Rugby title in 2011.
“We both see the game in a very similar way and respect the way we see the game but also there’s trust.”
“There’s plenty of times we played together where we’ve had huge blowups on the field and then you just have a laugh about it afterwards because I know he genuinely wants what’s best for me and for the team and likewise I want what’s best for the team,” he continues.
“It’s all just built around success and from my perspective a genuine great admiration for the way he plays the game and the way he sees it and then through that just a desire to want to play with him.”
“I want to win. My desire to win and be competitive and win it all has never changed and it’s a really good group of people,” he said.
“Everyone wants to work hard, everyone’s on the same page, there’s no ego, no pork chops or people who carry on not just the playing group but the organisation.
“That’s really conducive to creating a winning environment. Enjoy myself, be happy and continue to grow as a player and a person.”
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