Dan Carter has backed besieged Australia rival Quade Cooper to rediscover his form after a poor Rugby World Cup campaign.
Wallabies fly-half Cooper was widely tipped to emerge as one of the stars of the tournament but failed to live up to the hype, culminating in a nervy display in last weekend's semi-final.
Several past Australia players, including legendary fly-half Mark Ella, have called for the 23-year-old to be axed from the Test line-up.
But New Zealand playmaker Carter, who suffered a tournament-ending groin injury on October 2, is convinced Cooper still has a long international career ahead of him.
"I honestly wouldn't know if the pressure (got to him) or how he is feeling," Carter said of New Zealand-born Cooper on Thursday.
"He'll be disappointed with the World Cup he's had because he's such a talented player and he's shown that in a few Test matches that he has played and especially at Super Rugby level."
"I'm confident that he will bounce back and continue to be a world class player."
"He would have learned a lot from this World Cup because it's the first one for him. He's still young, extremely talented and he'll just continue to get better I'm sure."
Meanwhile, Wallabies captain James Horwill says fullback Kurtley Beale's return from a hamstring strain will alleviate some of the burden on Cooper in Friday's third-place playoff against Wales.
"He's held in high regard by all the players and also he gives us that second playmaker for Quade because he's played a lot of No.10 in his time," Horwill said of Beale.
"He can step into that first receiver role and help out there and he gives some good voice and obviously he's got that X-factor that you can't coach."
"He can create something from nothing."
Horwill expects a willing but free-flowing encounter against Wales, as both sides look to atone for devastating defeats to New Zealand and France respectively.
"The beauty about this game is you get a chance to right some wrongs from last weekend and finish the tournament on a positive note," Horwill said.
"They like to play an expansive game of rugby, they've shown that this tournament."
"They've played some fantastic rugby this whole tournament and their defensive structures, the way they go about things, is some of the best this tournament has had."
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