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Cooper set to start for Reds after finishing training

Quade Cooper is set to start against the Brumbies this Saturday

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Article Published: Monday 17 February 2014|

The Reds expect to name a full strength line up in their Super Rugby opening match against the Brumbies including Quade Cooper despite his neck injury.

Cooper completed training with the Reds on Monday and controlled the backline in a simulated match practice which gives a strong indication that he will play.

The Wallabies and Reds star spent Friday night in hospital after he was stretchered from the field at the end of the Reds Super Rugby warm up against the Rebels at Ballymore.

Reds coach Richard Graham and Cooper are both confident that he will be able to start against his Wallaby rival Matt Toomua.

Graham suggested before training that Cooper would be able to play if he was able to train with the team.

Cooper was protected from contact at Reds training and his movement was partially restricted but he still ran at pace and passed and kicked without difficulty.

"He's been really positive the whole way along," Graham told AAP.

"Once he had scans and was cleared of any damage, he's been really in a good head space and is still very positive and improving."

The Reds coach said that they would make an early call on his fitness and but prepare for the match with Mike Harris as back up No.10 instead of playing a game of wait-and-see.

Harris spent the training session at inside-centre which is where he played for the Reds in Friday's loss to the Rebels.

Graham says that they don't expect the Brumbies to change their game style too much this season even though Stephen Larkham and Laurie Fisher have taken over from Jake White.

"They will continue to do what has worked for them the last two years - a strong field position game, squeeze teams defensively, use their driving maul, kick goals."

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