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England in Australia: Quade Cooper defends relationship with Marcus Smith ahead of Test series

Australia’s Cooper rejects suggestion he should not be helping England counterpart Smith with his development; England’s tour of Australia is exclusively live on Sky Sports, with the first Test live on Saturday July 2

Last Updated: 27/06/22 10:21am

Quade Cooper says there’s nothing wrong with helping England flyhalf Marcus Smith with his development

Quade Cooper sees only benefit in the fly-half brains trust formed with Marcus Smith despite their looming rivalry when Australia and England clash over three Tests.

The pair have struck up a friendship on social media through Smith’s Harlequins team-mate Ben Tapuai and have since been exchanging tips in a relationship that Cooper insists is good for each player – and the game.

Both are creative forces who place an emphasis on attack and on Saturday they are set to face each other for the first time when they duel in the series opener in Perth.

Smith got in touch on social media when Ben Tapuai was playing with the Englishman at Harlequins

Smith got in touch on social media when Ben Tapuai was playing with the Englishman at Harlequins

“I’m a big fan of the way Marcus plays. He’s a great kid, a great man and my friends in Harlequins could not speak highly enough of him,” Cooper said. “For me I just love the way he plays, he’s a great talent and hopefully we can build that friendship over the next couple of years.

“We are all here to help each other grow. We play a competitive sport but we play the same sport and we want the sport to flourish and our peers and counterparts to flourish.

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July 2, 2022, 10:15am

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“If you are of the mindset of trying to hold things back from other people and trying to stunt someone else’s growth, then that’s such a negative way to live your life.

“If I can help someone progress, or someone can help me progress, those are the kind of friendships and relationships and people I want to be around in my day to day life. It is great way to be able to toss information back and forth and if it can help or challenge someone, then that’s great.”

Cooper’s experience accumulated across 74 caps, plus his success in reviving an international career that began in 2008 but stalled for four years after falling out of favour, make him a useful sounding board for the 23-year-old Smith.

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July 2, 2022, 10:15am

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The Wallabies ringmaster is admired by Eddie Jones, who oversaw his first year as a professional in 2007 when he was in charge of Queensland Reds.

“I was lucky enough to coach Quade in his first year out of school. He’s a talented number 10, plays flat to the line, he’s a very good pass selector, got a clever kicking game and has got that ability to have a go with the ball,” Jones said.

England’s head coach also left an impression on Cooper, who has been chosen among the three overseas-based players available to coach Dave Rennie.

“Eddie was a tough taskmaster then. I have heard he has mellowed a bit more but he has a wealth of experience,” Cooper said. “I have nothing but respect and gratitude for Eddie, especially the way he brought us through. We had to learn hard and fast, myself and Will Genia.

Eddie Jones gives his thoughts on his latest England squad, as well as looking back at the defeat to the Barbarians at Twickenham on Sunday.

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Eddie Jones gives his thoughts on his latest England squad, as well as looking back at the defeat to the Barbarians at Twickenham on Sunday.

Eddie Jones gives his thoughts on his latest England squad, as well as looking back at the defeat to the Barbarians at Twickenham on Sunday.

“When we came through we were 17 or 18 and just thrown straight into Super Rugby, we went through some of the most gruelling training sessions. From a mental standpoint he was always looking for ways to test you. It was us having to grow up pretty quickly and take charge of the team.

“We had been thrown in at the deep end, it was sink or swim and a lot of the boys really stepped up. Eddie had seen something in us that he thought was worth pushing and he pushed a few buttons to try and get us there.”

Bumper July of rugby on Sky Sports

As well as showing England in Australia this summer, Sky Sports will show Ireland’s five-match tour of New Zealand, Wales’ three-Test tour of South Africa and Scotland’s three-Test tour of Argentina.

Wednesday, June 29

Maori All Blacks vs Ireland – live on Sky Sports Action from 8am (kick off is at 8.05am)

Live International Rugby Union

June 29, 2022, 8:00am

Live on

Saturday, July 2

New Zealand vs Ireland – live on Sky Sports Action from 7:30am (kick-off at 8:05am)

Australia vs England – live on Sky Sports Action from 10:15am (kick-off at 10:55am)

South Africa vs Wales – live on Sky Sports Action from 3:30pm (kick-off at 4:05pm)

Argentina vs Scotland – live on Sky Sports Action from 7:30pm (kick-off at 8:10pm)

Saturday, July 9

New Zealand vs Ireland – live on Sky Sports Action from 7:30am (kick-off at 8:05am)

Australia vs England – live on Sky Sports Action from 10:15am (kick-off at 10:55am)

South Africa vs Wales – live on Sky Sports Action from 3:30pm (kick-off at 4:05pm)

Argentina vs Scotland – live on Sky Sports Action from 7:30pm (kick-off at 8:10pm)

Tuesday, July 12

Maori All Blacks vs Ireland – live on Sky Sports Action from 8am (kick off is at 8.05am)

Saturday, July 16

New Zealand vs Ireland – live on Sky Sports Action from 7:30am (kick-off at 8:05am)

Australia vs England – live on Sky Sports Action from 10:15am (kick-off at 10:55am)

South Africa vs Wales – live on Sky Sports Action from 3:30pm (kick-off at 4:05pm)

Argentina vs Scotland – live on Sky Sports Action from 7:30pm (kick-off at 8:10pm)



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