Rugby-Cooper set for Wallabies tour but injury raises Hodge doubts

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union Britain - Argentina v Australia - Rugby Championship - Twickenham Stadium, London, England - 8/10/16 Australia's Quade Cooper in action Action Images via Reuters / Henry Browne

(Reuters) – Australia flyhalf Quade Cooper will travel to Europe for the Wallabies’ tests against Scotland, England and Wales next month but Reece Hodge’s availability is in doubt after he sustained a pectoral injury in Saturday’s 32-23 win over Japan.

Coach Dave Rennie confirmed Cooper would be part of the squad following uncertaintly over the 33-year-old’s availability due to commitments with his Japanese club side, the Kintetsu Liners.

Hodge will also be part of the squad despite leaving the field after 13 minutes and Rennie will adopt a wait-and-see approach with the Melbourne Rebels back.

“The plan is he’ll travel and we’ll assess,” said Rennie of Hodge’s injury.

“We’ve got a couple of weeks until we play Scotland, so that will buy us some time to get clarity around what we do long term.”

Cooper has been in good form since returning to the Wallabies squad in September following a four-year absence, but put in a mixed performance against the Japanese, kicking one penalty as well as a pair of conversions.

Despite a below-par showing from the Wallabies, Rennie was pleased his side notched up a fifth win in a row following a pair of victories over both Argentina and South Africa in The Rugby Championship.

“We’re happy to win, we’ll be better for that game,” he said.

“They’re a good side. Every time we gave them a bit of a sniff they hurt us.

“We got pretty good go-forward from a lot of carries and we probably overplayed a bit.

“It’s a different enemy we played today from what we have been playing and it will be different to what we face in the next three weeks.”

Australia next play Scotland at Murrayfield on Nov. 7 before taking on England at Twickenham six days later. They complete their stint in the northern hemisphere on Nov. 20 when they meet Wales at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

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