Quade Santini Cooper was born on April 5 1988 in Tokoroa, New Zealand but at age 15 moved to Australia where his rugby career blossomed to such an extent that he turned out first for the Reds in Super Rugby and then the Wallabies, where he has made his mark. The 27-year old is perhaps one of the most talented players in world rugby but his consistency has been called into question. After making his Super Rugby debut for the Reds as an 18-year old, Cooper went on to earn his first Australia cap against Italy, aged 20, in 2008 and contributed with a try in that Test in Padova.
On the subject of his temperament, in 2009 he was charged by police over an alleged burglary of a local residence. Cooper also has a history of unruliness having been chastised for “engaging in a food fight” at a Wallabies team hotel in Canberra and he was also fined AUS$10 000 for bringing the game into disrepute following an altercation with a Brisbane taxi driver.
His skills as a playmaking flyhalf is what he would rather be known for and among the achievements he has under his belt include the 2010 Super Rugby player of the year, 2011 Super Rugby trophy and Tri-Nations in the same year. As at 19 August, Cooper has played 56 Tests for his adopted country scoring seven tries and kicking 22 conversions, 18 penalties and two drop goals along the way.
No doubt Aussie coach Michael Cheika will be hoping Cooper’s presence in the 2015 World Cup squad will make a great contribution and the men from Down Under will need it. Cheika’s charges are in the “group of death” with hosts England, Wales, Fiji and Uruguay. Cooper and co kick off their campaign for a third world title against the Fijians on September 23 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
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