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The British & Irish Lions

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Cooper snub warms coach Farrell

11th June 2013 06:36

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SKY_MOBILE Quade Cooper

Has a fan: Quade Cooper

The British and Irish Lions are happy Quade Cooper has been left out by Australia, with defence coach Andy Farrell saying he would pick the 10.

The Reds playmaker was not among the six new players added to Australia's final squad ahead of the first Test against the Lions in Brisbane.

Farrell got a first-hand look at Cooper's skills for the Reds in the Lions' 22-12 win in Brisbane last weekend and said he was happy he has been left out of the Wallabies squad for the June 22 clash.

"I'm pleased, he's a bloody good player," Farrell told reporters on Monday.

"If I was the coach I'd want him in my side, he's a good player.

"But having said that, I don't know the background, the ins and outs of why he wasn't selected but he's certainly a handful.

"He brings a lot to the party, so I'm pretty pleased."

Cooper orchestrated some flamboyant attacks by the Reds, who out-scored the Lions two tries to one, but he was also guilty of a risky pass on his own 22 that nearly gifted a try, and missed a routine penalty kick.

Farrell, whose son Owen is a fly-half in the Lions touring party, said there were some good passers in the Wallaby ranks even without Cooper.

"I think they have got quite a few backs who can pass, with (Kurtley) Beale back in the squad and (James) O'Connor and (Adam) Ashley-Cooper," Farrell said.

"They've got a magnificent backline, but I think Quade adds something a little bit different."

Former England World Cup-winning coach Clive Woodward went further and said the decision to leave Cooper out of the Wallabies squad "beggars belief", in a column for British tabloid the Daily Mail.

"It is an own goal that has handed the Lions a trump card and just emphasises again how modern coaching - aligned with this obsession with 'team ethic' - has sidelined the more maverick characters," Woodward wrote.

"The Lions did not want to face him (Cooper) and they have got their wish."