Eddie Jones has checked in with his Japan-based Wallabies and says Quade Cooper is on target for the Rugby World Cup, with the veteran playmaker back in action as soon as this weekend.
Recovering from a ruptured achilles tendon, Cooper last month ticked a box to qualify for the upcoming Japan Rugby League one relegation/promotion matches.
The 35-year-old ran on for one minute during Kintetsu Liners' final regular season match which made him eligible for the play-offs, with all players needing to play a match through the season.
Jones said he visited Cooper in Japan last week and said he was progressing well ahead of the Wallabies first Test of the year, against South Africa in Pretoria on July 8, with the World Cup getting underway in France in September.
Division one wooden-spooners, Cooper could turn out in the first of the series on May 7 with Kintetsu facing the Urayasu D-Rocks.
"He's due to play in a couple of weeks ... and everything's on song. He's progressing really nicely," Jones said.
He said that blockbusting centre Samu Kerevi, who ruptured his ACL playing sevens at the Commonwealth Games last year, would also return in May, with his club Suntory Sungoliath set to face Kubota Spears in the semi-finals.
Melbourne Rebels lock Matt Phillips and flanker Rob Leota are also set to return before the end of the Super Rugby Pacific season.
"We've got a number of players coming back, which is really promising," Jones said.
"It creates this nice selection pressure that the players who keep improving and the players who keeping showing that they've got an appetite to be the best in the world will get selected."
One player who remains on the outer is veteran lock Rory Arnold, who was left out of the Wallabies squad for a three-day training camp last month.
Arnold isn't playing after he elected to remain in Japan and train after his club Hino Red Dolphins withdrew from the competition after a bar brawl.
The 30-Test forward could have swapped clubs in Japan or even returned to Australia to present a case for Wallabies selection.
When announcing the training squad Jones said he wouldn't select Arnold if he wasn't playing rugby, joking that he was working on the factory line at Hino making trucks.
Asked if had spoken to him on this trip to Japan, Jones was equally as cutting about Arnold's decision not to play rugby.
"I didn't go to any mahjong clubs," the coach said.
"If he's not playing, it's very hard to get selected.
"I can't play him if he's playing mahjong. You're playing mahjong, well, it doesn't get you on the team."