Ashley-Cooper won’t be joining Leinster
Australian international signs new two year deal to remain a Wallaby and a Waratah
Australian international Adam Ashley-Cooper in action against Argentina. Photograph: Stephen Hight/Inpho
Versatile Australia international Adam Ashley-Cooper has turned down offers from abroad and signed a new deal which will keep him at home until after the 2015 World Cup. The players was the subject of media speculation that he might join Heineken Cup champions, Leinster, but that has now been put to bed.
The 28-year-old, who has won 77 caps since his debut in 2005, said he still had ambitions at both international and Super Rugby level after also signing up for another two seasons with the New South Wales Waratahs.
"I'm not done yet," Ashley-Cooper, who has scored 23 test tries, pointed out today: "I'd like another crack at the Rugby World Cup if I can. I wouldn't mind winning Super Rugby either."
A tough-tackling back with plenty of pace and a keen eye for the try line, Ashley-Cooper has played at centre, fullback and on the wing for Australia and is already a veteran of two World Cup campaigns.
While his first international goal this year will be to help Australia beat the British and Irish Lions in the three-test series in June and July, he was also motivated by the prospect of loosening New Zealand's 10-year grip on the Bledisloe Cup.
"The competition for places, after all of the injuries we had last year, has left the Wallabies in a pretty good space. I think everyone is excited about what is coming up this year with the Lions tour, but there's a World Cup not that far away now, and goals like the Rugby Championship and especially the Bledisloe Cup in between.
"I'd hate to finish my time with the Wallabies having not had the experience of winning the Bledisloe."