Cheika throws down the gauntlet to Cooper for Barbarians clash
Michael Cheika has challenged Quade Cooper to "show his wares" when he captains the Barbarians against Australia and prove he deserves a Test recall.
Cooper has not played for his country since facing Italy in June, but Cheika said the fly-half could quite easily have been lining up for the Wallabies rather than against them at Allianz Stadium on August 28.
Cheika will name his squad to take on Japan, Wales, England and Scotland a day after the clash with the Barbarians and the Australia head coach wants to see Cooper stake his claim for a spot on the tour.
"In all honesty, he probably could have been playing for us very easily here," Cheika said.
"We could have maybe said come and play with us but I think it is actually a better opportunity for him to show his wares against us.
"I know how he will want to play the game and that's going to be a challenge for us.
"What we have been watching in the NRC, he has been guiding the team around very nicely. He will be asked to do a different job for the Barbarians, we understand that.
"But we will looking at just his general approach to the game in terms of selection."