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Tuqiri, Rogers keen to see Cooper given a chance against Springboks

James O’Connor is back with the squad and is another playmaker option when selectors name the team on Friday for Sunday’s match.

“I think Quade is an out-and-out star of the game … he’s a freak,” Rogers said. “Are his best days behind him or ahead of him? Who knows? He needs an opportunity to see that.

Tom Trbojevic has been in sublime form this year.

Tom Trbojevic has been in sublime form this year. Credit:Getty

“I’d love to see him playing but at whose expense, that’s the thing. Do you persist with what we’re going with at the moment or do you bring Quade in and give him a run? I’d just love to see more clean ball out to guys like Jordan Petaia and see him in some open space. The more things you change inside him, the more work you have to do on those combinations to try and get him the ball.”

Rogers, who played 200 first grade rugby league games from 1995 to 2011 either side of his stellar rugby career, was also asked who Rugby Australia could to try and lure to play for the Wallabies.

“Throw the book at Tommy Turbo,” Rogers said. “I don’t think he’s coming, though.”

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Trbojevic is under contract with Manly until the end of 2026. Rogers left the Sharks in 2002 to pursue a career in Australian rugby, which culminated in a World Cup final in 2003, and hopes to see Australia awarded hosting rights for the 2027 tournament.

“The Rugby World Cup in 2003 was a huge carrot,” Rogers said. “I snuck out of the dressing room before the first game against France the opening ceremony and it brought tears to my eyes sitting there and understanding the enormity of what I was a part of.

“It’s easy to look at it from afar and go, ‘Wow, that’s an amazing event’. When you’re in it and you’re a part of it, it is truly magical. It’s just something special.

“I would recommend to anybody if you had the opportunity to be a part of it, I’d welcome it with both hands.”

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