Does Cooper lack BMT?

Wed, 12 Jun 2013 12:33
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World Cup-winning Australian captain Nick Farr-Jones believes that Wallaby discard Quade Cooper struggles to perform under pressure.

World Cup-winning Australian captain Nick Farr-Jones believes that Wallaby discard Quade Cooper struggles to perform under pressure.

Cooper failed to make coach Robbie Deans' Wallabies squad for the upcoming British and Irish Lions Test series, and Farr-Jones is adamant that his lack of big match temperament cost him his place.

The former Wallabies skipper explained that although Cooper does possess some impressive skills, he feels that they are really only on display when his team is dominating the game.

"He goes well when things are going well in a Queensland team that is going forward and when he's got space.

"He's a great confidence player, but the pressure cooker of a big match where he doesn't have that space, he's struggled over the years and that's why I think Robbie has struggled to invest in him," Farr-Jones told AAP.

The legendary scrumhalf believes that Cooper definitely has something to offer on the international stage given the x-factor he brings, and compared him to David Campese, but added that he struggles to step up on the big stage in the way that Campese did.

Campo was far better in high-pressure matches. That's where Quade sort of in the last few years dropped his bundle," he said.

Farr-Jones famously labelled Cooper a 'boofhead' in 2011 when his ongoing battle with All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw saw him become the target of some fierce abuse at the World Cup in New Zealand, and he still stands by those comments.

"One of the very important things when you're playing top-level sport is having respect for your opponents, and that comes in many ways.

"I just thought what he was doing - the cheap shots on McCaw on the field - showed a total absence of respect.

"That's why you don't have to ask New Zealand to be Public Enemy No.1. You do that to their favoured man and their captain, and you show disrespect, you're looking for retribution," he explained.

Although Deans was the one to hand Cooper his Wallaby debut, he has not featured for the national team since his outspoken criticism of the Kiwi coach in which he labelled the environment in the squad as 'toxic'.

James O'Connor has been preferred as the starting flyhalf for the British and Irish Lions series, with Kurtley Beale, Berrick Barnes and Christian Lealiifano all able to provide back-up at pivot, although Deans has not ruled out calling on Cooper if injury strikes a current squad member.

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