Quade Cooper poised for long-awaited return

COMEBACK TIME: Quade Cooper is poised to play for the Reds for the first time this year.
COMEBACK TIME: Quade Cooper is poised to play for the Reds for the first time this year.

Wallabies star Quade Cooper is expected to make his long-awaited return from a knee reconstruction for the Queensland Reds on Saturday night.

Cooper is set to be named tomorrow in the Reds line-up for their Super Rugby clash with the lowly Lions at Suncorp Stadium, opening the door for the mercurial five-eighth to possibly play for Australia during next month's three-test series against Wales.

The 24-year-old is only just returning to full contact training, seven months after he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament against Wales in the World Cup bronze play-off in New Zealand.

The Reds sorely missed their playmaker in the opening two months of the Super Rugby competition but their title defence is now back up and running with Ben Lucas playing solidly in the No.10 jersey and striking a fine combination with goalkicking centre Mike Harris.

Queensland had originally optimistically hoped Cooper, who is off contract at the end of the season, could return in early April to play the Brumbies at Suncorp Stadium.

Now the 35-test five-eighth is in line to start against the Brumbies in Saturday week's pivotal match against the Australian conference leaders at Canberra Stadium.

The good news follows Cooper's admission on the weekend he was enjoying his career in Brisbane and would find it hard to leave Ballymore next year.

AAP