Tom Richards Cup - Wallabies v Lions
Kurtley called up, Quade omitted
June 9, 2013
Kurtley Beale goes straight from club rugby to the Wallabies © Getty Images
Kurtley Beale has been called into the Wallabies squad to face the British & Irish Lions in the three-Test series for the Tom Richards Cup, but there is no room for Quade Cooper. The Australian Rugby Union confirmed on Twitter that Beale would be drafted into the squad, with the other five players to be included confirmed on Tuesday.
Beale is called up one week after playing for Randwick against Sydney University in the Shute Shield, capping a remarkable rehabilitation from alcohol-related problems.
The incumbent Wallabies playmaker had been limited by injury and suspension to little more than half-an-hour's game time in the previous three months: he missed six Super Rugby games with a broken hand and his first suspension, after a drunken altercation with Melbourne Rebels team-mates in Durban, before he was stood down for a second time after a cameo appearance against the Chiefs in early May, after breaching behavioural guidelines as he battles alcohol problems.
Cooper, however, did not do enough for Queensland Reds against the Lions on Saturday night to sway Wallabies coach Robbie Deans, whom Rugby Gold quoted as saying when asked if he'd seen anything in the Reds game to change his mind on selection: "No. We have now settled on the squad and we get on with our opportunity."
The Wallabies coach said of Cooper: "Quade is a huge talent and he showed it last night. It was great to see the endorsement given to him with the captaincy." And of Beale: "He has got a good background with us and he presented well when he was with us last week."
Brumbies Pat McCabe, Scott Sio and Peter Kimlin have also entered camp, with former Wallabies half-back Luke Burgess. Reds winger Digby Ioane also returned to the camp, but he is yet to prove his fitness after a knee injury on Queensland's Super Rugby tour of South Africa.
Have the Wallabies made the right decision? Should Quade Cooper be in the squad? Leave a comment below to join the conversation.
Quade Cooper played well for Queensland against the Lions, but he did not do enough (video available only in Australia)
© ESPN Australia / New Zealand