Rugby
AAP 7d

Adam Ashley-Cooper returned to Wallabies to win a Rugby World Cup

Adam Ashley-Cooper insists he has unfinished business with the Wallabies as he begins his quest to play in a fourth Rugby World Cup.

The 34-year-old utility back, was a shock inclusion in Michael Cheika's squad for the European leg of the spring tour following a two-year absence from the international game.

Ashley-Cooper, who has spent the last two seasons playing in Japan, was part of the side that made a magnificent run to the 2015 final where they lost to the All Blacks at Twickenham.

He is likely to win his 117th cap against Wales this Saturday in Cardiff and relishing his return to camp and the potential to be part of next year's World Cup squad in Japan.

"When 'Cheik' rang a couple of weeks ago, I was in Japan playing top league," Ashley-Cooper said. "He discussed the potential of coming back into the squad and coming on tour and I told him I'd jump at the opportunity.

"Coming back in was really exciting for me and it's good to be back in the environment. It's been a couple of years but I'm pretty stoked to be here."

It was under Cheika that Ashley-Cooper enjoyed his best World Cup campaign and although the Wallabies have slumped to sixth in the world rankings, the former NSW Waratahs and Brumbies star believes the two-time champions are still contenders.

"It's not so much about a fourth World Cup, it's to win a Rugby World Cup," he said. "I've had three cracks so there was still a bit of fire in the stomach post-2015.

"I moved overseas to France and I came back to Japan but still with that goal and ambition to win a Rugby World Cup because it was still there."

Kurtley Beale said the return of the third most-capped Wallabies player of all time has boosted the mood around the team.

"His experience speaks for itself," Beale said. "To have a player like him among our young guys, who are still growing to be at this level is great.

"He is world class on and off the field. I think it's a great addition and the boys are really excited to have him back."

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