The Australia media seems ready to write his rugby obit, but Wallaby coach Robbie Deans is not writing Quade Cooper off.
Deans told a media scrum that Cooper will "soon" regain the magical touch, despite making it clear he is not being guarantee a start when Australia host South Africa in a Rugby Championship encounter in Perth on Saturday.
Cooper has struggled to hit top form since injuring his knee at last year's World Cup, with the Reds playmaker putting in an underwhelming performance in Australia's 0-22 loss to New Zealand last month.
But Deans is adamant Cooper's confidence and form will grow over the coming weeks.
"He'll be better for the outing he had," Deans said of the encounter in Auckland.
"We'll get another week's prep into him and I'm sure you'll see him grow.
"It's one thing to come back to Super Rugby, but international rugby is another step again.
"It does take time for players, particular with the injury he had, to get back to where they were.
"When you put a lot of effort in, you'll get a return. He's been working hard."
Deans said Cooper needed more help from his teammates in order to give the side a better attacking spark.
"It's working with the people around him in combinations and getting some front-foot ball," Deans said.
"He obviously thrives a lot more on the front foot than the back foot."
The Wallabies hopes of regaining the Bledisloe Cup were dashed following back-to-back losses to the All Blacks.
But Deans is hell-bent on retaining the Nelson Mandela Challenge Plate, which the Wallabies have held since 2010.
"It's not a trophy that's easily won," Deans said.
"It's a trophy that sits pretty high in the rankings of prized pieces of silverware.
"It's one that's important to us, and clearly it's very important to them. That will add a bit of spice to the game I'll assume."
Like Deans, Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer is also under pressure to produce results following his team's recent 16-16 draw with Argentina.
"They're similar to us, they want a result out of this game," Deans said of South Africa, who defeated Argentina 27-6 in their first clash before producing an error-riddled performance in the return match.
"They would have been frustrated with their last outing, so both sides will be pretty keen."
Sources: NZ Newswire & AAP