Israel Folau named in Australia's squad to face British and Irish Lions; Quade Cooper left out

Last Updated: 19/05/13 12:11pm

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Robbie Deans says Quade Cooper still has a chance of playing against the Lions despite being left out of the squad.

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Former rugby league star Israel Folau is included in a 25-man Australia squad for this year's Test series against the British and Irish Lions.

However Quade Cooper is a notable absentee for the three-match schedule that starts next month.

James O'Connor, Berrick Barnes and Christian Lealiifano were all included in the squad, with coach Robbie Deans adding six more members to his party on June 11 - which offers Cooper a glimmer of hope.

"People will say that's the end for Quade but that's not the case. I've selected him on 38 occasions. He's had a lot of faith and support from me. To suggest otherwise is nonsense."
Robbie Deans

Cooper appears to be paying the price for his criticism of both the Wallabies' squad and Deans during 2012 when he described the atmosphere within the camp as a "toxic environment."

Folau, Lealiifano and Ben Mowen are the three uncapped players in the squad with the former an ex-league player with Queensland now representing New South Wales at union.

Nonsense

The captain will be named when Deans finalises his squad but it is widely expected to be lock James Horwill.

And Deans, speaking of Cooper, said: "People will say that's the end for Quade but that's not the case.

"I've selected him on 38 occasions. He's had a lot of faith and support from me. To suggest otherwise is nonsense."

Talking about the Lions, Deans added: "We understand what's coming and that the Lions have a very experienced combination.

"They have a physical side, particularly in the backline so we have to deal with it."

The Lions will play nine matches in Australia, starting against Western Force in Perth on June 5. The three Tests will be in Brisbane (June 22), Melbourne (June 29) and Sydney (July 6).

Backs: Israel Folau, Digby Ioane, Joe Tomane, Nick Cummins, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Rob Horne, Christian Lealiifano, Berrick Barnes, James O'Connor, Will Genia

Forwards: Wycliff Palu, Michael Hooper, Liam Gill, Scott Higginbotham, Dave Dennis, Ben Mowen, Rob Simmons, James Horwill, Sitaleki Timani, James Slipper, Ben Alexander, Benn Robinson, Sekope Kepu, Stephen Moore, Saia Faingaa

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