Quade Cooper in contention for Bledisloe Cup selection - Dave Rennie

Quade Cooper played 70 Tests for Australia between 2008 and 2017
Quade Cooper played 70 Tests for Australia between 2008 and 2017

Australia head coach Dave Rennie has said that Quade Cooper is in contention for the upcoming Bledisloe Cup against New Zealand.

Cooper has played 70 Tests for Australia since his international debut in 2008 but hasn't featured for the Wallabies since June 2017. He was also part of the World Cup squads in the 2011 and 2015 World Cups.

With James O'Connor still recovering from a groin injury and is expected to miss Bledisloe Cup opener at Eden Park on 7th August, Rennie has recalled the 33-year-old veteran in addition to the 42-man squad already announced.

With Noah Lolesio, Reece Hodge and Matt To'omua among the top contenders to take O'Connor's place, Rennie said a final call will be taken based on the training sessions.

"Noah's started the last three Tests so it's fair to say he's No. 1," said Rennie.

"Quade's job is to come in here and influence us as selectors, likewise with Matt and with Reece, [the latter] who gives us great utility value and played 79 minutes on wing last Test.

"We'll judge on what we see each day and who ends up starting or backing up will be based on guys earning the right to wear the jersey. So it'll be based on how they train."

Rennie also had high praises for Cooper and believes his experience will add a lot of value to the squad.

"He's learned a lot through those experiences and matured," added Rennie.

"Very similar to James O'Connor in fact. My knowledge of Quade, my knowledge of James, was mostly through the media. I'd coached against both those boys, respected them as players, so it's been good to get to know them.

"So certainly the conversation we had last week, I talked a lot about the importance of character in this group. We've got a young group of men who are impressionable and really need Quade to come in and be a positive influence.

"And as you can tell from how he's spoken today he's highly motivated."

The opening Bledisloe Cup Test will be played at Eden Park on 7th August.