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New Zealand 08:35 Australia

Australia coach Ewen McKenzie pays tribute to fly-half Quade Cooper

Last Updated: 28/11/13 6:51pm

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Ewen McKenzie (L): Australia coach hails his fly-half Quade Cooper (R)

Ewen McKenzie (L): Australia coach hails his fly-half Quade Cooper (R)

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Australia coach Ewen McKenzie has hailed influencial fly-half Quade Cooper as he prepares to win his 50th cap against Wales on Saturday.

The Wallabies will be aiming to end their northern hemisphere tour in style with a fourth consecutive victory.

Having suffered a narrow loss to England in their opening match, they defeated Italy, Ireland and Scotland and are now bidding for a ninth successive victory over the reigning RBS 6 Nations champions at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

Cooper will be charged with pulling the strings for Australia and McKenzie has paid tribute to the Queensland Reds player ahead of the clash.

"To get to 50 games is an outstanding achievement and it's fitting that he reaches the milestone at the end of a really good individual season."
Ewen McKenzie on Quade Cooper

"To get to 50 games is an outstanding achievement and it's fitting that he reaches the milestone at the end of a really good individual season," McKenzie said.

"He has really enjoyed the responsibility of playing at 10 for Australia.

"He is a very proud guy and proud of his involvement. This team is very important to him, and I am personally quite pleased for him.

"He is continually improving, both on and off the field, and he definitely isn't the finished article, which is promising.

"But he won't be too caught up in the milestone externally. His focus will be on how he fits into the team and his responsibility of managing this game.

"We are enjoying playing in big venues in front of hostile crowds, but being consistent in that space is where we want to be.

"Our journey at the moment is around that, and four wins in a row to end the season would be fantastic."

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