Quade Cooper’s career revival at the Melbourne Rebels has seen him rocket into “strong contention” for an international recall, Wallabies coach Michael Cheika says.

Cooper has 70 international caps to his name but hasn’t worn the yellow jersey since mid-2017 – a drought Cheika says could end if he continues to perform alongside Wallabies halfback Will Genia at the undefeated Rebels.

“He played a smart game in the first game out, he played nice and flat and he was very active in organising the play,” Cheika said.

“But also looking to attack himself a little bit… always with the flair that he brings to the game.”

The 30-year-old first-five was dumped by Brad Thorn at the Reds last year and was forced to play club rugby until he was signed by the Rebels in the offseason.

Cooper has shone for his new club with impressive performances in wins against the Brumbies and Highlanders.

Cheika said those efforts in a World Cup year are getting recognised but he’s not fully invested yet.

“It is just a matter of him getting more games in the saddle, I think. More opportunities to play at the highest level against the best teams.

“And with that, I have no doubt he will come into strong contention for selection.”


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