Cooper to join Kerevi, McMahon on Wallabies’ spring tour scrapheap

Quade Cooper is set to become the third big name to withdraw from the Wallabies’ spring tour as Rugby Australia is forced into damage control over the selection debacle.

Cooper is yet to tell the Wallabies’ team management he will not be joining the Test side when it travels to Scotland at the end of the week but the conversation will be a formality.

Quade Cooper is out of the Wallabies’ European tour.Credit:Getty

The 32-year-old will choose to rest his body before the start of pre-season with Kintetsu Liners, the team with which he plays in Japan’s renamed Top League, Rugby League One.

The withdrawal means Dave Rennie has lost three starting players just before a tough three-Test tour of the United Kingdom, with Suntory Sungoliath centre Samu Kerevi and back-rower Sean McMahon also choosing to stay in Japan.

It has thrown relations into disarray between the players and Wallabies coaches, as well as senior RA executives, after chief executive Andy Marinos called the McMahon and Kerevi decisions “hugely disappointing” in an interview with the Herald on Tuesday.

It will also heap pressure on the RA board’s rugby committee, comprised of former Wallabies Phil Waugh and Daniel Herbert, which is working through whether to change the so-called Giteau Law governing offshore Test eligibility.

The committee, rounded out by Marinos, is meeting on Wednesday to approve which players can be drafted into the Wallabies squad to replace the absent trio. Rennie is already “thin”, as he put it on Tuesday, with incumbent fullback Reece Hodge out injured and winger Marika Koroibete the first late withdrawal, citing family reasons.

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