Cooper happy to get barrelled in training

QUEENSLAND Reds five-eighth Quade Cooper was happy to get "dusted up" at training this week, and no, he doesn't think he's crazy.

The Wallabies star is back from a fractured collarbone in time to take on the Lions at Suncorp Stadium tomorrow night in what will be his first Super Rugby game for 2015.

Cooper has been anticipating a return to the playing field so much, he even put his hand up to cop a hammering at training this week, in his efforts to revive Queensland's spluttering 1-4 start to the season.

"I got dusted up once from Samu (outside centre Samu Kerevi). He's a big boy and I'm happy I got through that unscathed," he said.

Against the Lions though, Cooper will have the benefit of playing alongside Kerevi, and fellow wrecking ball and winger Chris Kuridrani.

He said he was excited about playing "ball distributor", and will also have the task of taking on the Reds' goal-kicking duties, two areas the team has fallen down badly this season.

Coach Richard Graham said he was wary of the attacking threat from the South Africans, after they surprised the Rebels 20-16 in Melbourne last weekend.

"I think they're the seventh-most in possession in terms of running out of their 22," Graham said.

Kerevi, James O'Connor and Lachie Turner will also make their returns from injury in the starting backline, while props Greg Holmes and Ben Daley have been named on the reserves bench.

- APN Sports Bureau


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