Quade has long way to go, says Campo - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Quade has long way to go, says Campo

Jim Morton 05/08/2011 03:50:03 PM Comments (0)

It's nothing new to see Quade Cooper polarising opinions but the Wallabies playmaker will line up for the biggest test of his career with experts divided on whether he's a contender or pretender to world rugby's No.10 crown.

Cooper's direct opponent on Saturday night, All Black Dan Carter currently wears it comfortably and, according to Wallabies great David Campese, is in a completely different league.

But many, including Australia's 2003 World Cup goalkicking hero Elton Flatley, feel the young Kiwi-born Queenslander has caught Carter as the most influential five-eighth in the game.

Cooper's performance in the playmaking battle will go a long way to determining whether Australia deliver a pre-World Cup psychological blow at Eden Park.

If they do, and the daring 23-year-old continues his sublime season on the Bledisloe Test stage, he'll be the bona fide successor.

Especially as all the Wallabies' preparations have suggested Cooper will have free rein to test the New Zealand defence by throwing caution to the wind.

"I think they're already neck and neck to be honest," Flatley, who presented the Wallabies with their jerseys on Friday, told AAP.

"Carter has a lot of runs on the board. But Quade is fast, fast approaching. I wouldn't say one is better than the other.

"They're just in different stages of their career.

"I think over time Quade will be right up there with the greats of rugby."

Indeed, Carter will become the fifth most-capped All Black when he plays his 82nd Test.

Across the field, Cooper will play his first on New Zealand soil and 25th since making his debut less than three years ago.

With Reds partner-in-crime Will Genia, Cooper holds the World Cup hopes in his hands but Campese would pick Carter in his dream team every day of the week.

Ironically, the 101-Test attacking genius, never noted for his tackling, said it was Cooper's defensive work, or lack of it as he stands at fullback in defence, that cost him legitimacy.

"I think he's a very good player, Quade Cooper, but if you want a player to rely on 99 per cent of the time then Dan Carter is the guy you pick," winger Campese told AAP.

"The only (similarity) we have is we both can't tackle.

"But I was a winger; the position he's in he's got to learn it's great to attack but you have got to do the defence as well."

Carter starred with the ball in the All Blacks' last-start 40-7 victory over South Africa, but also pulled off 13 tackles in the No.10 channel and didn't miss one.

"That's a class player and Cooper's got a long way to go."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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