13 Apr 2013

Deans not shutting door on Beale, Cooper

9:21 am on 13 April 2013

Robbie Deans insists the door is not closed on Quade Cooper and Kurtley Beale despite the high-profile playmakers being overlooked for a 30-man Australian rugby camp to prepare for the British and Irish Lions series.

Cooper conceded earlier this week that he'd been overlooked, while Beale was always going to be omitted after being stood down indefinitely following an alcohol-fuelled incident while on tour with the Melbourne Rebels.

But Deans' naming of James O'Connor, Berrick Barnes, and untried Brumby Christian Leali'ifano highlighted a glaring hole in the Wallabies' playmaking roles.

Deans, though, noted that the 30-man squad contained several rookies, and considerably more forwards than backs, for merely insurance purposes should the Wallabies be hit with untimely injuries before the Lions arrive.

He says he's been in contact with Cooper and Beale and advised both that they still had time to press for selection.

Deans says Cooper is not being further punished for his well-documented criticism of the Wallabies' so-called "toxic" culture.

He says there's still a lot of Super Rugby to be played and a lot of opportunity for everyone to press their claims.