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Thread: Unwanted Wallabies star Quade Cooper would like to play for NZ Māori

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    Unwanted Wallabies star Quade Cooper would like to play for NZ Māori

    Last updated 13:35, August 27 2018


    Controversial rugby player Quade Cooper has expressed a desire to play for New Zealand Māori as he explores his heritage.

    The 30-year-old Cooper is on the outer in Australian representative rugby, not having played for the Wallabies since June last year and being unwanted by the Queensland Reds for this year's Super Rugby championship.

    Cooper is contentedly playing for Souths in the Brisbane club competition and has been happy to get back to some grass roots football.

    He told 1 News it has been a journey of self-discovery and that includes trying to learn more about his Ngāpuhi connections, saying his Māori "roots run deep".

    He hadn't always felt that way through circumstances more than anything.

    "Sometimes I didn't feel worthy of being Māori. Living in Australia you sort of ... not forget but it's not right on your doorstep," he said, haying moved to Queensland from Tokoroa when he was 13.

    "But I think being Māori, that's something that's inside you.

    "A lot of times people criticise you because I have played for Australia and things like that. And sometimes I have felt, 'OK, that's a bit true' because I don't necessarily know enough about my family or my heritage or what I'd like to know.

    "I've been trying to learn a little bit more and try and get a bit more knowledge on my roots, I think it's all a journey."
    Cooper, who has 70 test caps for Australia to his name, says he still harbours a desire to play at representative level and that includes an unexpected twist.

    "If I was ever to play for the Māori one day, that would be another step in that journey," he smiled.

    Cooper had a tough upbringing. Born in Auckland, he was soon taken to Tokoroa by his single mother where she entered a women's refuge.

    Shifting across the Tasman as a teenager had opened doors through his sporting abilities. But having enjoyed the spoils of a professional lifestyle in Australia, he has found it refreshing to go back to some rugby basics in the club scene and help younger players through his experience.

    "Not only has it helped me become a better player, I've been able to help a team become a better team and individuals become better individuals," Cooper told 1 News.

    "Those are experiences that you can't force or you can't buy. Knowing that I've been through that ... I've had a great time.

    "It's been beneficial and eye-opening. I'm very grateful for the opportunity to be part of Souths and be part of the club I joined when I first came over from New Zealand."

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/...-zealand-maori

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    Champion chibi's Avatar
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    I've always thought he should switch codes and play for the New Zealand Kiwis, they could have used him against Tonga and Fiji...

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    Veteran Bakkies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chibi View Post
    I've always thought he should switch codes and play for the New Zealand Kiwis, they could have used him against Tonga and Fiji...
    The problem with him going to the NRL would be that they would have to pay him out of his contract or contribute some of his wages to the QRU. Either way it affects the salary cap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chibi View Post
    I've always thought he should switch codes and play for the New Zealand Kiwis, they could have used him against Tonga and Fiji...
    More likely to get a gig in Maori vs Indigenous Allstars. It would be good to see NZ Maori extend an olive branch in RU though.
    Be interesting to see if Fifita is selected for the All stars too.

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