Quade Cooper fit for Wallabies' next match against S Africa despite fracture

Flyhalf should recover from injury to leg in time for championship clash with Springboks

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 30 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 30 August, 2012, 5:20am


Wallabies flyhalf Quade Cooper has been given the all-clear to play their next Rugby Championship match against South Africa despite a small fracture.

A scan confirmed Cooper is suffering from a fracture in the shin bone after aggravating it during the 22-0 thrashing by New Zealand at Eden Park last weekend.

But the Australian Rugby Union said he should recover in time for their third Rugby Championship clash, with the Springboks in Perth on September 8.

"While the injury will be closely monitored, Wallabies medical staff anticipate that it will settle quickly, and it isn't expected to impact on Cooper's availability for the South Africa match," the ARU said.

His availability is a rare piece of good news for under-pressure coach Robbie Deans, who was forced to deflect questions about his job after the Auckland setback.

Among those already ruled out of the Perth test are Drew Mitchell, David Pocock, James Horwill, James O'Connor, Sekope Kepu, Wycliff Palu, Pat McCabe and Ben McCalman.

South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer, meanwhile, has gambled by choosing uncapped Johan Goosen and Duane Vermeulen in his squad for away tests against Australia and New Zealand.

Flyhalf Goosen and No8 Vermeulen have just returned to Currie Cup action after long injury lay-offs, and respective coaches Naka Drotske of Cheetahs and Allister Coetzee of Stormers believe that they are not ready for test action.

However, Meyer is desperate to silence critics after the public and media turned on him following a undeserved 16-16 draw away to newcomers Argentina last weekend in the southern hemisphere championship.

The coach defended his player selections.

"While Duane and Johan are medically fit, their coaches felt it necessary that they get more game time in the Currie Cup this weekend.

"But as we do not have a lot of time to prepare and need as much time with them as possible to get them used to our structures and game plans, the decision was taken to select them for the tour. I regard both of them as world-class players.

"If it was not for injuries, Duane would have been a Springbok long ago. I also believe Johan has a long career ahead of him at test level."

The Springboks face Australia and then the rampant All Blacks in Dunedin a week later.


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