Wallabies under pressure ahead of Test

Only time will tell what head space the Wallabies are in for their must-win Bledisloe Cup clash at Eden Park tomorrow, but Quade Cooper’s bizarre media antics suggest the pressure on Australia to break rugby’s biggest hoodoo will only intensify before kick-off.

The Wallabies are fighting to save their Rugby Championship ambitions and avoid a Bledisloe strike-out at a ground where they haven’t beaten the All Blacks in 26 years.

But as if that wasn’t more than enough to contend with, the Wallabies continued to cop it from all angles yesterday and even dished out a few curve balls of their own.

In a day of high drama, coach Robbie Deans admitted Kurtley Beale was battling confidence issues after dumping him from the starting team for Adam Ashley-Cooper amid a raft of changes.

Demoting such a star player for one bad game was a big and risky call.

Deans’ injury headaches continued with hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau forced out of the starting XV and in doubt for the match, with Scott Higginbotham also under a cloud.

Of course the most prominent news was Cooper’s return to the fold for the first time since he fizzled out at the same venue in Auckland at last year’s World Cup.

But 13 seconds and 26 words in front of the cameras was all the wisdom the recalled five-eighth wanted to offer before walking away from his press conference at Leichhardt Oval.

‘‘All I want to say is I’m back. I’m fit, healthy, I’m ready to go. And I’ll see everybody at Eden Park,’’ said Cooper before turning his back on the media.

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