Quade content to ride pine for Wallabies

Enigmatic Wallabies playmaker Quade Cooper is content with his bench-warming role, despite playing a meagre three minutes on the Spring Tour so far.

Cooper missed a golden opportunity to spark his tour when he was a game-day scratching for last weekend’s Test win over France.

He’d been named to start at No.10 in a match coach Michael Cheika had identified as a chance to give his back-up players some much-needed gametime, but copped a knock at training which led to him being ruled out.

It leaves Cooper’s three-minute stint against Wales – before he was an unused substitute against Scotland – as his only contribution this tour heading into the final fortnight’s Tests against Ireland and England.

“It’s frustrating but at the end of the day that’s part of footy, you’ve got to take your opportunities when they come,” Cooper said ahead of Saturday’s clash with Ireland in Dublin.

“I had one there (against France) that didn’t turn out, so I’ll just wait for my next opportunity and be patient.

“With football it’s a matter of being patient and when I get the opportunity it will be the right one. On the weekend it just wasn’t my time.

“But we got the win, that’s the main thing that matters moving forward in this tour.”

It is set to ensure he spends the bulk of this tour riding the pine – a position which is becoming increasingly common for the 65-Test veteran who at his peak was the most exciting attacking force in Australian rugby.

“That’s been my role in this team at the moment,” he said.

“I’m quite content with where I’m at being able to work my way back into the squad first and foremost and then push for a starting position.

“I’ll get opportunities at some stage, but my role in the team at the moment is what’s being asked of me, whether that’s sitting on the bench or not, I’ve just got to do that as best I can and be patient.”

Meanwhile, the Wallabies were accused by French media of playing mindgames over Cooper’s injury – but the star himself said while he was walking freely by Saturday, he didn’t have the confidence to play to his fleet-footed best.

He says he’s in no doubt for this weekend’s clash, for which he has been named on an extended bench.

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