Serious injury for Cooper in bronze match

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Last updated 05:00 22/10/2011

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Australia

Cooper needs to earn place with Wallabies Quade Cooper faces six-month injury layoff Robbie Deans wishes All Blacks well Serious injury for Cooper in bronze match Good outcome for Wallabies on uninspired night Bronze medal player ratings - Australia v Wales Bronzed Aussies down Welsh for third Live blog commentary - Wales v Australia Stephen Moore makes tribute to best mate Wallabies can't afford to be thinking of home

Quade Cooper's nightmare World Cup has ended with a serious knee injury that will keep him out of the Wallabies' end of year tour north and also threatens his early participation in Super Rugby.

Cooper was taken off early in the first half of the Wallabies 21-18 bronze medal win over Wales at Eden Park last night.

Australian coach Robbie Deans said expert medical advice was yet to be given but it appeared Cooper has blown an ACL in his right knee.

That could sideline him for as long as six months and affect his return to the champion Queensland Reds team.

"He is OK, he is aware it's a significant injury," Deans said of Cooper who has had such a torrid time in New Zealand over the past seven weeks.

"He will be back playing Super Rugby. This experience will test him but I have no doubt he will come back stronger for it."

It looks like the first-five duties will fall to Berrick Barnes for the rematch with Wales in Cardiff and the clash with the British Barbarians in November.

Deans said it had been good to see Barnes back in action at the World Cup "and playing with confidence" after his long battle with head injuries that threatened to end his career.

Deans felt the Wallabies could take some consolation from the tournament with their third placing.

The Wallabies victory sees them join New Zealand as the only sides to have finished first, second, third and fourth at World Cups.

"It was a third-fourth playoff neither side through preference wanted to be in but both took to it with a lot of pride," Deans said.

"We stuck at it and that's the World Cup - the adrenalin pumps and you're totally committed."

Australian skipper James Horwill was relieved with the win.

"We made the best out of a bad situation. I think we can go home with our heads held high," he said.

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- Fairfax Media

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