‘I’ll probably say no’ – Quade Cooper discusses his Wallabies prospects under Joe Schmidt

Colin Newboult
Fly-half Quade Cooper in Wallabies kit in 2023.

Fly-half Quade Cooper in Wallabies kit in 2023.

Fly-half Quade Cooper has admitted that he has likely played his last game for the Wallabies despite them bringing in a new head coach.

Joe Schmidt has taken over from Eddie Jones as the national team boss and has signed a deal until at least the end of the 2025 British and Irish Lions tour.

The New Zealander is looking to rebuild after Jones led Australia to their worst-ever Rugby World Cup, which saw them eliminated at the pool stages for the first time.

Schmidt’s path

It will be interesting to see what path Schmidt goes down and whether he decides to bring back the experienced players.

The Wallabies’ previous head honcho decided to ditch the likes of Cooper and former captain Michael Hooper ahead of the global tournament, stating that they were not good role models.

In early November, the playmaker, who currently plies his trade in Japan, fired back at Jones before addressing his Test future.

The 35-year-old stressed that he “ain’t retired” and that it would be “interesting to see who the new coach will be.”

Cooper then added on his Facebook story back in 2023: “I enjoyed working with the young guns coming through not just as a mentor but as a competitor. But time will tell.”

Now that the fly-half knows who the new boss is, he is sounding less hopeful of making an international comeback.

The experienced pivot, who has earned over 70 caps for the Wallabies, once again took to Facebook after being asked whether he would play for the national team again.

“I’ll probably say no,” was his response before he went on to explain why he couldn’t see himself in a gold jersey under Schmidt.

“It’s not that I wouldn’t want to; it’s more new coaches and stuff like that. I’m getting older, but you just never know,” he added.

Dropped, comeback, and dropped again

In 2017, Cooper was dropped from the Wallabies side after a bust-up with head coach Michael Cheika and duly missed the 2019 World Cup.

However, he famously made a return in 2021 under Dave Rennie and played a key role during their brief upturn in form.

Despite Rennie’s sacking at the start of 2023, Jones appeared to have earmarked the 35-year-old as his starting number 10 for the global tournament but then surprisingly axed him and Hooper from his World Cup squad.

READ MORE: Michael Hooper has his say on Joe Schmidt’s nationality as Wallabies look to bounce back after ‘crazy year’