Wallabies' Cooper takes on rookie Springbok Libbok

Wallabies' Cooper takes on rookie Springbok Libbok

By Alipate Narawa
Saturday 08/07/2023
[ImageL rugbyaustralia/SA Rugby Magazine]

Returning Wallabies five-eighth Quade Cooper will line up in Pretoria looking to take his first steps towards the Rugby World Cup, but it's his rookie rival Manie Libbok who is expecting to be under the most pressure.

The pair are separated by 10 years and 73 matches, with 25-year-old Libbok lining up for his first Test start when the teams open the Rugby Championship.

Cooper has had limited game time in Japan since rupturing his achilles in a Test against Argentina almost a year ago but appears to be the Wallabies' first choice at 10 for this year's World Cup in France.

Although he missed the South Africa games in last year's Rugby Championship, Cooper broke Springbok hearts on the Gold Coast in 2021 when he booted seven penalties including a match-winner after fulltime for a 28-26 scoreline.

He was five-eighth in the most recent Wallabies Test played in Pretoria, in 2016, when the Australians fell 18-10 - one of just five current squad members remaining from that line-up.

The 35-year-old will bring a cool, mature head to the Loftus Versfeld cauldron, where Australia have never won in seven Tests stretching back to 1963.

South Africa will play Australia at 3.05am tomorrow.

[Source: rugby.com.au]

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