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Beale in,Cooper out of first British & Irish Lions test

Despite his problems and playing little rugby Kurtley Beale is in the Wallabies squad

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Article Published: Sunday 9 June 2013|

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Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has confirmed playmaker Quade Cooper will not be one of the six additional players added to his squad to play the British and Irish Lions but Kurtley Beale will be.

Deans is expected to name an extra six players that will be added to the Wallabies squad on Monday but he has already partly showed his hand.

The Wallabies held a Lions training camp in Caloundra, Queensland on Sunday and the existing squad were joined by Rebels fullback Beale, Brumbies centre Pat McCabe, scrumhalf Luke Burgess, backrower Peter Kimlin and prop Scott Sio, all of whom have yet to be named in the squad.

Luke Burgess has played little more than 20 minutes of Super Rugby this year and was rushed early into the Rebels squad due to injury after spending the last two years in France.

While Deans says that Cooper will not be part of the 31 players to face the Lions but says that the Reds playmaker could be called up if there are injuries in the squad.

"We've obviously not included him (Cooper) in the additional six at this stage, but as you've seen (with injuries), things happen quickly," Deans told AAP.

"This is a three-Test campaign and nothing surprises you in this industry."

"Quade is a huge talent; we understand what he is capable of," Deans said.

"We've now settled on the squad and we'll get on with our opportunity."

Deans said that watching how Quade Cooper played for the Reds against the British and Irish Lions "probably just reaffirmed where we're at".

While Cooper is out of the first Test against the Lions Kurtley Beale has a strong chance of playing in the match despite playing little rugby this year and being stood down by his Super Rugby franchise the Rebels who also gave him indefinite leave to sort his alcohol and behaviour problems.

Deans says that Beale has"presented himself in the right physical and mental shape" after undergoing a rehabilitation program.

Meanwhile, Former Wallaby Brendan Cannon, who made his international debut against the British and Irish Lions back in 2001, said Cooper's errors on Saturday were outweighed by "an array of skills that is unmatched".

"No other player in this country can pass with the width and accuracy that he does, and that tested the Lions on numerous occasions," Cannon said.

"What we saw last night was the kind of expansive play that can defeat the Lions over three Tests."

Cooper's Queensland coach Ewen McKenzie repeated his belief that Cooper should be in the Wallabies squad.

"I know I'm biased, but I pick Quade every week and if I was picking a team next week, I'd pick him again."

 
 
 
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