Cooper left out in cold with Deans passing over Reds star
Wallabies coach Robbie Deans admits Quade Cooper is a "huge talent" but the Queensland flyhalf won't be named in the Australian squad when it is finalised today.
Cooper produced an energetic performance for the Reds during a hard-fought 22-12 loss to the British and Irish Lions in Brisbane on Saturday night.
But Deans confirmed yesterday the 25-year-old won't be one of six new faces added to the 25-man camp.
However, Rebels flyhalf/fullback Kurtley Beale will be.
"Quade is a huge talent. We know that and he showed that on Saturday night," Deans said.
"It was great to see the endorsement in terms of him getting the (Queensland) captaincy and I'm sure it was an experience that he would have enjoyed.
"There was no surprise in any of that for us.
"We understand what he is capable of (but) we've now settled on the squad and we'll get on with our opportunity."
However, Deans did not completely shut the door on Cooper for the upcoming series against the Lions, which gets under way in Brisbane on June 22.
"We've obviously not included him in the additional six at this stage but ... things happen quickly. This is a three-Test campaign and nothing surprises you in this industry," he said.
While Cooper was a notable absence as the Wallabies pulled into Pelican Waters yesterday for a week-long training camp on the Sunshine Coast, Beale was conspicuously present.
"Kurtley is one of the six additions," Deans said of the 24-year-old who recently returned to the Wallabies extended training squad following a counselling program. "He had a huge week last week and he got through it well."
Halfback Luke Burgess also joined the Wallabies after Nic White's hopes of playing were cruelled by a shoulder injury.
"This is the second occasion he's been denied an opportunity to be part of the Wallabies group so it's a pretty tough thing for him to swallow," Deans said.
Winger Digby Ioane was also present at Pelican Waters yesterday after having an operation on his left knee a fortnight ago.
"He's only been doing cross training so he'll start moving on his feet on the training field and it's just a matter of monitoring his progress," Deans said.
Centre Pat McCabe and forwards Peter Kimlin and Scott Sio - who were not in the initial 25-man squad - were also at Pelican Waters yesterday.
Meanwhile, Deans distanced himself from Lions coach Warren Gatland, who recently claimed his side had been spied upon at training.
"It appears to be but it's just a sideshow really," Deans said.
"What the motivation is who knows, you'd certainly have to ask Warren Gatland."