Cheika: Cooper must step up

17 May 2018 02:46:38 EST

Quade Cooper won't be picked by the Wallabies if he continues to reject offers to return to Super Rugby, says coach Michael Cheika.

While the Australia coach says he hasn't closed the door to Cooper, he's indicated he won't be selecting the 30-year-old who has been exiled from the Reds.

Queensland coach Brad Thorn has made it clear Cooper is not in his plans and won't be considered for selection.

Instead the player is continuing to be paid his $650,000 salary to play at club level in Brisbane.

Cheika says it's Cooper's refusal to entertain interest from the Rebels and Brumbies that is the sticking point as far as his international selection goes.

He has to have form on the board, like all players.

Michael Cheika

"If he hadn't had the opportunity to go and play Super Rugby I would say yes [to picking him out of club rugby] because fair enough, it's not his fault, but he's being offered opportunities and I think he should take them," added the coach.

"But he's been offered opportunities and I think he should take one - and I would like him to take one of them so he can get up there and be in the position."

Cheika's aware of how Cooper has been playing, as he's been watching his club games.

But until he gets back to testing himself at a higher level, it appears he won't be returning to the Wallabies squad.

"(He needs to) even just go and get a couple of games at the (Super Rugby) pace. It goes up a level so then, when it comes to the Test, you'll be ready to go," said Cheika. "He has to have form on the board, like all players."

Australia are 12/1 to win the 2019 Rugby World Cup. The Wallabies are 5/6 to win Pool D.

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