Cooper set for Wallabies return

Robbie Deans has included controversial flyhalf Quade Cooper in his 49-man Wallabies training squad for the British and Irish Lions tour in June and July.

Cooper criticised Deans and his national team-mates on social network Twitter last year. He then received a hefty fine from the ARU and issued a public apology. The Reds managed to patch things up as they offered the player a new deal to remain in Australia.

Cooper last played for the Wallabies against Argentina in September before suffering a knee injury.

Lock James Horwill and scrumhalf Will Genia (both Reds) also return to the Test fold after long-term injuries in 2012. However, Genia is only expected to be fully fit in round six of Super Rugby.

Uncapped flyhalf Christian Lealiifano and scrumhalf Nick White (both Brumbies) make the big training squad too.

Reds utility forward Radike Samo, Waratahs wing Lachie Turner and Force scrumhalf Brett Sheehan are notable omissions, but a Wallabies spokesperson confirmed that any impressive Super Rugby form could be rewarded with a late call-up.

Wallabies training squad – Saia Faingaa, James Hanson, James Slipper, James Horwill, Rob Simmons, Jake Schatz, Liam Gill, Will Genia, Ben Lucas, Quade Cooper, Ben Tapaui, Anthony Faingaa, Mike Harris, Dom Shipperley, Digby Ioane, Luke Morahan, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson, Paddy Ryan, Sekope Kepu, Kane Douglas, Sitaleki Timani, Dave Dennis, Michael Hooper, Wycliff Palu, Berrick Barnes, Rob Horne, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Drew Mitchell, Stephen Moore, Ben Alexander, Dan Palmer, David Pocock, Nic White, Christian Lealiifano, Pat McCabe, Joe Tomane, Cadeyrn Neville, Hugh Pyle, Scott Higginbotham, Nick Phipps, Kurtley Beale, James O’Connor, Mitch Inman, Cooper Vuna, Salesi Ma’afu, Hugh McMeniman, Ben McCalman, Nick Cummins.