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Saturday Aug 5, 2023

Quade Cooper replaced as the best “hot stepper” in Wallabies squad

Since 2008, the rugby world has had some world-class side steppers. Few, however, have been better than Wallabies flyhalf Quade Cooper.

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A tough rugby phenom who broke onto the scene as a teenager, Cooper was a mainstay in a highly successful period for the Wallabies and Queensland Reds in the early 2010s.

Fast forward to 2023, and his role has changed significantly from the young maverick.

At 35 years old, Cooper is a senior figure in the national set-up and is, by all accounts, acting as a mentor for up-and-comer Carter Gordon.

Losing the starting position to the 22-year-old Rebels star, Cooper is now making his impact from the bench.

With his fast footwork now on the bench for the bulk of the fixture, the Wallabies have had to find a new magician to create space.

Coming from the most unlikely of places, the Wallabies have found a physical freak in front rower Angus Bell.

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Quite possibly the best Australian player throughout the Rugby Championship, the 22-year-old has been a real find for Australian Rugby over the past few seasons.

At 6’3” and 125kg, his pace and skills are incredible for a man his size, with his closest comparison being Ireland’s World Class star Tadhg Furlong.

With all of the discussions about Rugby League players converting to Union, the Wallabies appear to have a real star from their own pathways right under their noses.

The biggest challenge will now be whether can they secure him long-term when the big money of Japan and Europe comes calling.

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