Australia head coach Michael Cheika has revealed that playmaker Quade Cooper’s poor form forced his hand, after leaving him out of his 38-man training squad on Wednesday.
It is the first time Cooper has been left out of a Wallabies squad since Robbie Deans omitted him from the 2013 series against the British and Irish Lions, with injuries and a stint overseas keeping him out of contention at other times.
Cheika said he had spoken to Cooper about the reasons for his omission but ultimately it came down to his inconsistent performances in Super Rugby.
“From a form perspective, yeah I don’t think his form has been brilliant, to be honest,” he told the Australian Rugby Union website.
“I have had a long talk with him yesterday and I don’t want to breach that code of coach-player by giving out too much detail, but one of the big things is for him to look like he is enjoying his footy.
“We have had a talk about the reasons why and obviously a lot of that is trying to get him back into a space where he can be that player that’s going to get us around the park and do the stuff that we want him to do.
“I don’t feel like that’s been happening and I feel like at a certain point I have to change things.
“With a bit of congestion now in the midfield players, with (Kurtley) Beale back and some of the options around the ten position, I decided that’s the way to go.”