Australian Rugby
Cooper targets Wallabies' No.10 shirt
ESPN Staff
December 8, 2012
Australia's Quade Cooper issues some instruction, New Zealand v Australia, Rugby Championship, Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand, August 25, 2012
Quade Cooper is determined to force his way back into the Wallabies' reckoning © Getty Images

Quade Cooper celebrated striking a new deal with the Australian Rugby Union by setting his sights on reclaiming the Wallabies' No.10 shirt.

Cooper ended speculation regarding his playing future by agreeing a new two-year deal with the ARU earlier this week and is determined to put the long-running saga behind him by forcing his way back into the Wallabies' reckoning.

With Cooper's injury and scandal blighted season limited to just three Test appearances, Berrick Barnes and Kurtley Beale have shared the playmaking duties with the latter pulling the strings on the Wallabies' end of year tour. The injured James O'Connor another in the selection mix but Cooper has welcomed the competition ahead of a big year that will see an eagerly-awaited series against the British & Irish Lions.

"I always wanted Kurtley to go well at No.10 and he went very well," Cooper told the Courier Mail after signing a deal which can earn him A$800,000 (£522,000 plus next year if he plays all 14 Tests. "When you watch anyone playing in your position, it does get the competitive juices flowing.

"Whether it's playing FIFA 2013 as a video game with KB or doing extras at training, we compete and push each other. No matter who it is, I want to be challenging for that spot."

Cooper also revealed that he turned down a lucrative offer from French side Montpellier to join the growing legion of foreign stars in the Top 14 while he is also adamant he has not bridges to re-build with Wallabies coach Robbie Deans.

Asked if he would play under Deans, Cooper said "of course". "He's the coach. It (their relationship) is not something I have to improve. His job is to coach and get the best out of the team.

"My first goal is to get back out there for Queensland and then if I play well the opportunity will arise to play for my country. It is a big year coming up."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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