Quade Cooper.
Quade Cooper. SMP Images - Charles Knight

Cooper back for Reds this weekend

QUADE Cooper has endured a harrowing time since he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee last October at the Rugby World Cup.

But the injury, suffered in the play-off for third place against Wales, hasn't dented the confidence of the Reds five-eighth.

The 24-year-old will back himself to pull out the razzle-dazzle for which he is known when he makes his much-awaited Super Rugby comeback against the Lions at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.

"Confidence isn't something that I lack," Cooper said.

"You never go out there on the field to step someone on purpose.

"(But) if those opportunities arise, I know that I've done the hard work out on the field and that my body will be able do those things."

Despite Cooper's unwavering belief in his ability, Reds coach Ewen McKenzie is realistic about the directions he will hand his star playmaker.

"We need to understand he's come off a six-month lay-off so we won't be loading him up with too many things," he said.

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