The international resurrection of Quade Cooper will continue for the Wallabies in 2022.
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has confirmed Quade Cooper, Samu Kerevi and Marika Koroibete will be his three Giteau Law picks for the upcoming series with England among a 35-man squad set to be finalised on Sunday.
As it was confirmed the Wallabies would host South Africa in the first international event at Sydney’s new Allianz Stadium, Rennie revealed a further 30 players would be active for Australia A in a bid build the strongest possible playing group for the upcoming suite of internationals.
Cooper’s international resurrection will continue, with the 34-year-old getting medical checks in Sydney this week after his season in Japan where Kerevi and former John Eales medallist Koroibete also played.
“It’s probably not that secret anyway, but we’ve certainly got Quade, Samu and Marika all coming back,” Rennie confirmed on Thursday.
“Quade and Samu are actually here in Sydney today for their medical checks, Marika’s headed straight to Fiji to spend a bit of time with his family and he’ll be back on the weekend.”
Rennie is limited to picking three overseas-based players per series and said the trio were standout picks based on their Wallabies performances last year and output in Japan.
“It’s exciting, if you saw the (Japan League One) final with Panasonic, Marika was phenomenal and he certainly hasn’t lost any of his physicality or his work ethic, so we’re excited to have him back,” he said.
“You look at Quade having a massive impact and just a really calming influence, and he was so impressive within the group. I thought he was great with Noah (Lolesio), and even when Noah was playing and Quade wasn’t, his contribution at meetings was great. He sat down on the computer next to Noah and talked through a lot of things, so his contribution was excellent.
“Samu only played a handful of Tests and was nominated for (World Rugby) player of the year, which just highlights the impact that he had and Marika is one of the best wingers in the world. I’m not sure if there is another winger with his repeat ability and his work ethic, he’s just top gear all day. So we’re looking forward to getting them back.”
Rennie revealed he’d also be inclined to send unused members of his squad into the Australia A team that will face each of Tonga, Samoa and Fiji in consecutive weeks.
“We‘re going to pick 35 in our squad, there’ll be 30 in the Australian A side,” Rennie said.
”That’s come into our thinking, there might be the odd guy who we think might be better served with three games at another level higher than Super Rugby rather than maybe sitting in the background and not getting an opportunity against England.
“And then there’s the option, if we feel that some guys need some footy who are in our squad, to maybe send them to Fiji potentially for the third Test to get some rugby.”