Cooper assured of World Cup spot

Date published: August 14 2015

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Quade Cooper is not playing for his World Cup spot in Australia's Bledisloe Cup clash on Saturday, according to Michael Cheika.

The Reds fly-half was surprisingly recalled to start at ten for the game at Eden Park, and will be hoping to make a better impression than during his displays against South Africa and Argentina in the Rugby Championship.

With Bernard Foley also struggling, the Wallaby ten jersey looks to be up for grabs, and despite an injury-disrupted season, Cheika explained that Cooper is already assured of a spot at the World Cup.

"When he was selected I spoke to him and said 'there's nothing to prove here this is not some type of test for you, this is about you doing your job for the team'," Cheika told reporters in Auckland on Friday.

"Those guys I've always spoken to them about their role going into this series and the World Cup as well. I've been quite open about the fact they're coming – him and (Bernard)Foley."

Cooper was first choice at the last World Cup but endured a tough time of it in the semi-final at Eden Park when the Wallabies were comfortably beaten by New Zealand.

His return to the ground in Auckland will certainly be a challenge, but Cheika is just keen to give his mercurial playmaker some more game time.

"Quade is enjoying the role of our 10 and the shape that we play and he's getting more confidence in how that works because he hasn't played a lot of footy this year. I just want him to enjoy his game," Cheika added.

"Foley and him, our playmakers that have been rotating around, they're centre stage. They're important players. They've performed over the Super Rugby season or in years past and they fit into plans nicely.

"I don't think this is the appropriate match to say 'play good here and you'll get in the World Cup'.

"That's not worthwhile.

"I back my guys. I don't fear failure. I'm not worried about that. I want the team to do its best and the cards will fall where they may."

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