He must keep working with us
Mercurial playmaker Quade Cooper was left out of Australia's team for the opening Rugby Championship clash with New Zealand on Saturday, but all is not lost for the Reds star.
Berrick Barnes retained his place at No.10 in the Wallaby starting XV, with Cooper not even making the matchday 22.
Cooper missed Australia's past five Tests since surgery for a knee injury suffered in the third-place play-off at last year's Rugby World Cup.
While the Queensland Reds star has played five Super Rugby games since returning, coach Robbie Deans said he was not yet fit enough for international duty ... but kept the door open.
"Anyone can play a Test, but how well is the thing," Deans told reporters.
"Quite obviously he [Cooper] isn't at the top of his fitness yet.
"He has been training with us for two of the three weeks. He has had a couple of club games, which is good. He is working hard.
"I've got no doubt he'll get an opportunity again, absolutely," Deans added.
Cooper's omission allows Barnes, who was man of the match in consecutive Tests against Wales this year, to keep the No.10 jersey, working outside halfback and newly appointed vice-captain Will Genia.
"Berrick played very well through June... so it was pretty straightforward," Deans said.
Deans said Cooper took the news of his omission very well.
Asked what the mercurial Reds back needed to do to regain a spot, Deans said "keep doing what he's doing - keep working with us.
"There's not a lot of certainty in this industry."