Cooper to miss rest of championship


Rugby:Australia outhalf Quade Cooper will miss the remaining two rounds of the Rugby Championship because of problems with the knee he injured at the World Cup last year. The 24-year-old joins a long casualty list for Australia, who face tough tests against South Africa in Pretoria on September 29th and Argentina in Rosario a week later to round out the inaugural version of the four nation competition.

Cooper, who has yet to return to top form after his return from surgery on his right knee, had scans in Brisbane today which revealed a "small chip of articular cartilage" on the joint. He is expected to be fit for the Wallabies tour of Europe in November. Australia play England, Italy and Wales on their tour in November and early December.

"While the injury will require an operation to clean up and is to the same knee that was operated on after last year's Rugby World Cup, it is not a long term injury and so may not rule Cooper out of the (November tour)," read a statement. “A decision on the flyhalf's availability for that trip will be made once his rehabilitation is underway."

Berrick Barnes, who played at fullback in last weekend's victory over Argentina on the Gold Coast, is likely to stand-in for Cooper for the next two tests and the third Bledisloe Cup clash with New Zealand on October 20th.

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