Wallabies playmaker Quade Cooper believes his latest injury setback will not damage his bid for World Cup selection.


Cooper will have surgery on Tuesday to repair the collarbone he fractured last week in a freak training accident, which looks set to sideline him for the first half of the Super Rugby season.

The 26-year-old had troubles with the same shoulder last year, after an AC joint injury kept him out of action for four months and opened the door for Bernard Foley to cement himself as Australia’s first-choice No.10.

But as much as he needs a solid Super Rugby campaign to mount a challenge to Foley, the Queensland fly-half is adamant time is still on his side.

“For it to happen right now, I’d rather that than two months before the World Cup or a month before,” Cooper said.

“That’s something where you’re racing the clock. Something like a collarbone … I can live with.

“If it was a knee injury, a reconstruction or another shoulder injury, that’s when you get a bit down.

“A collarbone is sort of like if you have a car incident, a dent in the door, rather than popping all four tyres.”

Cooper will be out for 12 weeks, with his return likely to be the Reds’ home game against the Hurricanes on April 26 – but he said he will do everything in his power to bring that date forward.

“My last shoulder injury was something I learned a lot about how to look after myself and how you come back from it,” he said.

“Having a broken collarbone is probably the most easy thing to come back from.

“They’re going to put a plate in there, it’s going to be nice and strong.

“I’ve just got to make sure I keep myself in good condition so that soon as it’s healed, physically and mentally I’ll be able to contribute to the team.”

Reds coach Richard Graham slammed reports that suggested Cooper’s injury was the result of an attempted “revenge tackle” on under-20s backrower Lolo Fakaosilea in a training game on Thursday, and said it was nothing more than an innocuous collision.

“It sheds light on a 19-year-old kid that certainly isn’t warranted,” Graham said.

“That’s the disappointing thing, it happens a thousand times every training session.”