As Auckland prepares for the Southern Hemisphere clash in Rugby’s World Cup semi-final, is Quade Cooper the man who could haunt the hosts and deny his country of birth a place in the final?
All Black fans have never forgiven the Aussie, who left New Zealand as a teenager for an aggressive tackle on their captain, Richie McCaw in a game in August. The incident has simmered, he is now public enemy number one.
“He’s a bit of a traitor, because he left New Zealand, he was born here and he plays for Australia. Overall, he’s a good rugby player, but he doesn’t deal with pressure very well,” said one All Blacks fan.
Chris Rattue, New Zealand Herald journalist believes the player is dangerous. “He looks cocky, but he’s also a threat. He can have very bad games, but if he he has a very good game, he could be the man who destroys the All Blacks hopes and New Zealand dreams,” he said while an Australian fan is hoping he can make the difference in the semi-final. “He is getting under the skin of the New Zealanders, which means that he’s inside their heads. Very few people upset Richie McCaw. I hope he does it again.”
Our correspondent, Cecile Skovron-Mathy says “Quade Cooper admitted this week that he thought at some point about going back to play in New Zealand. And even if he faces hostility, the All Blacks fans might regret that he didn’t return, especially when looking at their team’s difficulties to find a replacement for the injured Dan Carter.”