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Australia

Cooper may captain Wallabies

10th January 2014 15:12

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Leader: Quade Cooper

Australia coach Ewen McKenzie has not ruled out Quade Cooper captaining the Wallabies on a permanent basis to replace Ben Mowen.

Cooper is the current vice-captain for the Wallabies after taking over the role from Will Genia.

That technically would make him next in line to fill Mowen's shoes, but Australia have a strong list of contenders available to take the armband including Genia, James Horwill and the returning David Pocock.

McKenzie though was eager to stress that the team selection would come first before deciding on who would lead the Wallabies next.

"It's not automatic that people step up or anything. It depends on what the options are at the time. We will pick a team and work it out from there. That doesn't rule Quade in or out, it doesn't rule anyone in or out," McKenzie told the Australian Daily Telegraph.

"There are guys out there who I think have good potential and have good qualities and we haven't seen them yet either.

"On that (November) tour we had 11 guys who were either captain or vice-captain of their province, and had experience. So there are a lot of guys who have credentials.

"But I am not going to get bogged down about it, and players shouldn't either. It's six months away. They should concentrate on playing well for their province.

"In my mind, ultimately you have to pick a team first. The team has to be based on performance and then you go from there.

"We still have to prioritise performance. We can't, on the back of our win-loss record in 2013, sit back and say we are happy with where we are from a performance point of view."

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