Cooper on red alert for Lions
QUEENSLAND playmaker Quade Cooper has been given the leading role in the final audition to fill the six remaining places in the Wallabies squad to face to the British and Irish Lions.
Cooper, who has played every minute of all 15 Super Rugby matches in the No.10 jersey, will captain the Reds, or whites as they will be tonight, against the Lions in Brisbane.
The Queenslanders will wear white jerseys and red shorts because of the clash with the famous red jersey worn by the tourists.
Wallaby coach Robbie Deans will name his final six players on Monday, but Cooper was not thinking about that - the 38-Test representative was focused on leading his state, saying it was an honour to be given the role.
"The history and tradition that surrounds the British and Irish Lions obviously speaks for itself, so it will be quite humbling to lead Queensland out," he said.
"It's a proud moment anytime you get to lead a side, but the fact that I've been at the Reds since I was 15 years old just adds to the occasion on a personal level and I'm really looking forward it.
"The Lions are also an extremely formidable opponent and one we have a huge amount of respect for. That respect just adds to why we are taking them so seriously."
Cooper's British and Irish Lions counterpart will be Welsh flanker Sam Warburton, who will finally make his debut tonight after recovering from a knee injury that ruled him out of the first two games against the Barbarians, and Western Force.
Welsh compatriot prop Gethin Jenkins also gets his first run after shaking off a calf problem.
REDS V LIONS
Suncorp Stadium, 7.40pm
REDS: Lucas, Davies, Tapuai, A Fainga'a, Morahan, Cooper (c), Frisby, Schatz, Robinson, Quirk, O'Donoghue, Wallace-Harrison, Holmes, Hanson, Daley. Reserves: Anae, Denny, Owen, Samo, Butler, Lance, Harris, Dom Shipperley.
LIONS: Hogg, Cuthbert, Tuilagi, Davies, Bowe, Farrell, Youngs, Faletau, Warburton (c), Lydiate, Parling, Gray, Stevens, Youngs, Jenkins. Reserves: Hibbard, Vunipola, Jones, O'Connell, Tipuric, Murray, Sexton, North.