Many thought Cooper's recent form surge and combination with Reds teammate and Wallabies halfback Will Genia would be enough to earn Cooper inclusion in the squad. Instead, Deans preferred Berrick Barnes, James O'Connor and Christian Lealiifano as his flyhalf options. Speculation has since been rife that Cooper would join friend Justin Hodges at the Broncos.
Ex-Wallaby and Queensland Red, Tim Horan stoked the rumours of defection yesterday when he tweeted, "No Quade Cooper in Wallabies 25-man squad, Broncos are circling." However, Andrew Gee, the Broncos general manager, denied that the club had approached Cooper.
Deans insisted that Cooper's snub was not the end of the road, leaving the door open for his return before the first Test match on June 22nd. "People will say that's the end for Quade - that's not the case. There's still six positions to be resolved," Deans said.
"We all know Quade's history with the group, and I've selected him on 38 occasions ... so he's had a lot of faith and support from me.
That's not an issue, to suggest otherwise is nonsense." "He will get the opportunity to play against the Lions (for Queensland in a tour match on June 8), and we've had dialogue around what's important."
The only new faces in the squad are league convert Folau, Christian Lealiifano and Brumbies skipper Ben Mowen. Folau described his selection as "surreal" and admitted that he still had a long way to go before forcing his way into Wallabies first fifteen. "When I got that call (from Deans) I just froze. I'm on a high still. It's very exciting for me and my family and I'm just stoked to be a part of it" Folau said.
"I'm not guaranteed a starting position and so I just have to try and play consistent rugby until we get into camp," he said. "I'm always confident in myself but I still have a lot to work on to try and get into the starting line-up. Being a part of this big campaign is certainly very exciting."
The Lions will play three tests against the Wallabies with the first game kicking off on Saturday 22nd of June at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
Wallabies Squad for Lions Tour: Ben Alexander, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Berrick Barnes, Nick Cummins, Dave Dennis, Saia Faingaa, Israel Folau, Will Genia, Liam Gill, Scott Higginbotham, Michael Hooper, Rob Horne, James Horwill, Digby Ioane, Sekope Kepu, Christian Lealiifano, Stephen Moore, Ben Mowen, James O'Connor, Wycliff Palu, Benn Robinson, Rob Simmons, James Slipper, Sitaleki Timani, Joe Tomane
Adam Schoenmaker is a pastor in in his local church in the northern suburbs of Brisbane. Adam loves a good book, a classic album and all Queensland sporting teams.
Adam Schoenmaker archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/adam-schoenmaker.html