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Cooper returns, Tom Hooper to debut for Australia in Rugby Championship

AP – Flyhalf Quade Cooper has been recalled after recovering from an Achilles injury and Tom Hooper will make his test debut in a squad Eddie Jones has picked to end Australia’s drought in Pretoria against South Africa.

Tomorrow’s Rugby Championship opener marks the first test in Jones’ second stint in charge of the Wallabies and he has overhauled the squad with an eye on building depth for the World Cup later this year in France.

He picked 22-year-old Tom Hooper to start on the blindside flank in a backrow combination with veteran skipper Michael Hooper and Rob Valetini at number eight. The Wallabies have never beaten the Springboks at Loftus Versfeld.

Three young players on the reserves bench are in line to make a test debut against the World Cup champions, including 21-year-old prop Zane Nonggorr, France-based lock Richie Arnold and backup playmaker Carter Gordon.

Australian rugby union head coach Eddie Jones. PHOTO: AP