James Mortimer 26.Jul.2012Getty Images
Cooper was the Wallabies front line number ten during the Rugby World Cup last year, but as the tournament progressed the Australian’s pragmatic game plan, coupled with his lack of individual influence, led to the enigmatic Reds dynamo having a mixed tournament.
Barnes, as well as James O’Connor, has filled the number ten jersey since then.
The Waratahs backline general, despite a less than ideal campaign with NSW, kicked on during the June test series against Wales, winning two man-of-the-match awards as well being considered by many the player of the three tests.
Deans said however that Cooper would get his chance.
"Berrick is obviously the incumbent and played all the in-bound series and played well," Deans said.
"It's important what they do here and particularly in that position in terms of leading your team around the paddock. Quade's coming back and he's going to need to play some rugby. He hasn't played any rugby really over the last year.
"A lot will be influenced by what they do in training, we see them through prep before the public see them in a game."
Barnes is rated as a better test first five-eighth than a ‘Super Rugby’ one by many Australian commentators, a tag that at this stages seems to apply to Cooper the other way around.
However in his six matches for the Reds since returning from injury, there seems to be a bit more poise to his game, perhaps meaning he is looking to impose himself on the international stage.
Deans said that the final selections would see very different backlines.
"There are a number of (players and options) we will consider," Deans said.
"You look at the outside backs for example and we've got some gaps to fill there. And one decision will affect another."