Lions party happy with Quade Cooper omission


British & Irish Lions assistant coach Andy Farrell admits he’s happy to see Quade Cooper out of the Australia squad for the forthcoming test series.

The Queensland Reds star was left out of Robbie Deans’ initial party, and then failed to earn one of the six additional spots handed out to players on Monday.

Cooper is never far away from controversy Down Under, describing the environment inside the Wallabies camp as ‘toxic’ last year.

However, there is little doubt about the 25-year-old fly-half’s talent, and the decision has received a mixed reaction in Oz.

"I am pleased. If I was a coach, I would want him in my side. He is a handful,” said Farrell, according to the BBC.

"I don't know the ins and outs of why he hasn't been selected but he brings lots to the party. I'm pretty pleased."

Cooper caused the Lions problems in their clash in Brisbane on Saturday, showing his ability with a mixture of incisive short passes and defence-stretching long balls. He is prone to the occasional error though, with Deans highlighting his defensive frailties as a reason for leaving him out recently.

The No.10 would have offered Australia something different, in the mind of Farrell at least, but the former Rugby League star is well aware that the hosts will have a number of other options at their disposal when the big kick-off takes place next Saturday.

"They have got a quite a few other boys who can pass well, with James O'Connor and Kurtley Beale coming back into the squad. They have a magnificent backline but I think Quade has something a bit different," he concluded.

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