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Cooper in last chance saloon

The British and Irish Lions could today quash Quade Cooper's final hope of facing them in a Test series when he was expected to have played an integral role for Australia.

Gifted fly-half Cooper (pictured right) will captain the Queensland Reds against Sam Warburton's tourists, knowing it's his last chance to leave any kind of impression on Wallabies head coach Robbie Deans.

Cooper is not part of Australia's preliminary squad for a three-game series that begins back in Brisbane on June 22.

James O'Connor is understood to have nailed down the number 10 shirt, although a commanding performance from Cooper could give Deans food for thought.

"Quade Cooper has a point to prove," Lions assistant coach Rob Howley said.

"He is a hugely talented player who will be looking to have the ball in his hands as much as possible.

"We are delighted they have picked the strongest side they could have done.

"While we stepped up a lot against the (Western) Force on Wednesday, we are under no underestimations about the level we need to hit against the Reds, and that's good. It is what we need.

"The quality of the opposition is going to be a test for our defence. Quade Cooper is a hugely talented player. He's a player who can do anything. He will create opportunities for the Reds, there is no doubt about that."

3Queensland Reds v Lions, TODAY, Sky Sports 2, ko 10.30


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