Michael Cheika not shutting door on Adam Ashley-Cooper

Date published: September 12 2018

Michael Cheika and Kurtley Beale have welcomed the possibility of Wallabies veteran Adam Ashley-Cooper returning to the international fold.

Ashley-Cooper has 116 caps to his name, the last of which he won against the All Blacks in 2016. The utility back has spent the last three years overseas, with Bordeaux-Begles in France and the Kobe Steelers in Japan.

However, the 34-year-old Ashley-Cooper is back in Australia as he looks to sign with a Super Rugby team next season and in doing so hopefully force his way in to the Wallabies squad for the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

“He said, ‘I’m not looking for any favours or entrees or anything, I want to come back through Super Rugby, prove myself that I’m good enough to take the spot’,” Cheika told Reuters.

“And if he plays good enough in Super Rugby, then he’ll get an opportunity I’d imagine like any other player.

“There’s no accords, no guarantees and he doesn’t want it that way. If he does come back he’ll want to earn it himself.

“That’s the quality of the man, that’s what Ashley-Cooper’s about.”

Wallabies fly-half Kurtley Beale echoed his mentor’s sentiments, saying his former team-mate’s experience could prove valuable.

“He’d definitely influence the young guys in the group and how we want to go,” Beale said.

“He’s got to prove himself at the moment to come back (but) it’d be awesome to have a quality player like (him) back.”

The Wallabies play Argentina at Robina Stadium on the Gold Coast on Saturday.