Cooper, 35, hasn’t played international rugby since last year’s Bledisloe Cup Test in Dunedin which saw the All Blacks emerge victorious after a Richie Mo’unga penalty at the death.
That was the Wallabies’ fourth loss in as many starts under then-coach Eddie Jones, and also their final Test before the 33-man squad for the Rugby World Cup was to be named.
On the morning of August 10, there were murmurs that Cooper and former captain Michael Hooper were set to be left out of the World Cup squad. The Wallabies confirmed that when they revealed their squad on Stan Sport that night.
While the New Zealand-born playmaker has once again left the door open for more Tests in Wallaby gold, Cooper told followers on his Facebook story that it was unlikely.
“I’ll probably say no,” Cooper said in response to a question about whether he’d play for the Wallabies again.
“It’s not that I wouldn’t want to, it’s more new coaches and stuff like that. I’m getting older but you just never know.”
The coaching change that Cooper was refereeing to was Rugby Australia’s decision to appoint former World Rugby Coach of the Year Joe Schmidt into the role.
Schmidt was officially unveiled as Australia’s third head coach in as many years following the efforts of Dave Rennie and coach Jones.
“I’m desperate for the Wallabies to be competitive, and if I can help, that’s why I’m here,” Schmidt explained at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium earlier this month.
“I think the global rugby family is desperate for the Wallabies to be where they need to be. British and Irish Lions, they want to have a fantastic series so we want to build toward that and give them exactly what they want and not make anything easy for them.
“Two years after that you’ve got a home World Cup.
“I’m desperate that the Wallabies are really competitive in that World Cup and we get through to those really competitive playoff rounds.”
But the past won’t be forgotten. Many will still question whether Cooper was the right man to wear the Wallabies’ No. 10 shirt at the World Cup – and more questions may yet be asked.
The Wallabies’ poor campaign under coach Eddie Jones – which saw them win just two from nine Tests in 2023 – will live on forever in a new Stan Sport docuseries.
Stan released their sneak peek trailer for the three-part series on Monday morning. The behind-the-scenes content will follow the Wallabies’ poor season, including their World Cup disaster.