Wallabies coach Robbie Deans says the rivalry between Quade Cooper and

Richie McCaw is healthy but has sounded a couple of cautionary notes in

the aftermath of Australia’s drought breaking Tri Nations rugby triumph.


Wallabies assembled in Sydney on Monday in preparation for their last

full week of training on home soil before the World Cup starts.


was keen to move on quickly from Australia’s first Tri Nations title in

ten years and also stressed the need for his players not to compromise

the team’s performance with individual acts of indiscipline.


Cooper could potentially have missed World Cup games had he been found

guilty of a foul play charge after kneeing All Blacks captain McCaw in

the head in a ruck in Saturday’s game in Brisbane.

“I think in

any instance, where you end up in a judicial process, means you are

getting close to compromising your team and that’s not good,” Deans told

reporters in Sydney.

Deans, however, wasn’t fussed by the

growing rivalry between Cooper and champion openside flanker McCaw that

seemed to start back in Hong Kong last year.

“I don’t see it as a big deal. The rivalry is total and that’s healthy,” Deans said.


what we want, that competitiveness, but we also don’t want any acts by

individuals that can end up compromising the team.

“In terms of the healthy competitive nature of Quade, it’s not a problem.”

Deans reported no major injury issues arising out of Saturday’s game.


was typically cagy and non-committal when asked if winger James

O’Connor would come straight back into the side after missing Saturday’s

clash due to a suspension for missing the World Cup squad announcement.

However, he suggested he would not tinker too much with his team during the World Cup itself.

“We’re playing every game to win. We’ll be putting out our best combination to do that,” Deans said.

He stressed Australia’s Tri Nations success was irrelevant as far as their World Cup prospects were concerned.


anything, it has the potential to impact in a negative way to what we

do next, if we think we can take any comfort out of it,” Deans said.

Celebrating the end of Australia’s Tri Nations title drought was low key according to utility back Adam Ashley-Cooper.


celebrations were very quiet. We just had families and friends and

partners back to the hotel after the game and a few quiet drinks and I

was in bed pretty early. I was pretty knackered after the game,”

Ashley-Cooper told reporters.

Australian Rugby Union boss John

O’Neiil said being rated second favourite for the World Cup behind New

Zealand was not a bad position to be in.

“It’s going to be a very

physical tournament. I really trust the adjudication is up to scratch,

that referees don’t become a feature of the tournament, they become an

asset to the tournament,” O’Neill told reporters.

“We’re in with a real shot, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.”