South Africa wary of Quade Cooper factor - Assistant coach Mzwandile Stick

Quade Cooper returned to Australia line-up after four years
Quade Cooper returned to Australia line-up after four years

South Africa assistant coach Mzwandile Stick said they are wary of the Australian veteran playmaker Quade Cooper as the two teams lock horns with each other in the third round of the Rugby Championship on the Gold Coast on Sunday.

Cooper was recalled by the Wallabies head coach Dave Rennie after four years with James O'Connor still unavailable due to injury and the 33-year-old brings in a wealth of experience having featured for them in 70 Tests including eight appearances in the 2011 and 2015 World Cups combined.

“We are going to have to respect him and make sure that we don’t give him a lot of time and space to make decisions.

“If you give them [Cooper and Kerevi] time and pace they will punish you. So, we can’t afford not to pitch up tomorrow, it’s going to be a tough day for us.

“With ball in hand, we know the challenge that’s coming.

“They are going to try and keep the ball as much as possible and we have worked very hard on our conditioning to face the challenge. Not only Cooper, they have world-class players.”

South Africa are at second position in the Rugby Championship table with back to back wins over Argentina in the opening two rounds while Australia are at the bottom.