Cooper says he’s grown since 2011

Date published: September 17 2015

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Quade Cooper believes he has learned a lot from his World Cup disappointment four years ago as he prepares for this year's tournament.

The Wallaby fly-half was first choice in New Zealand in 2011, but struggled against the All Blacks in the semi-finals as Australia finished third in the tournament.

The four years that have followed have not been easy for Cooper, with injuries and a loss of form seeing him drift in and out of Wallaby contention.

He did just enough to make the cut in Michael Cheika's squad, despite an underwhelming season, but Cooper feels he has benefited a lot from the time that has passed since his 2011 disappointment.

"I like to think over the past four years I've grown as a person and a player," Cooper told Fairfax Media.

"I look back [on 2011], this is a whole new experience. It's more about my personal life, how I conduct myself on a day to day manner.

"I'm very focused at this World Cup. Not to say I wasn't in 2011, but there were a lot of distractions and a lot of things went on that year that maybe I took for granted.

"I won't take any day or second for granted this time around. I'm over here to win for this team. We're not here to make up numbers, we were given a medal of participation [at the welcome ceremony]. We don't want to go away with that, we want to take the trophy home.

"I was probably too relaxed [in 2011], amongst the hostile feeling that was there in New Zealand, I still went there very relaxed," he added.

"I was too relaxed. I've learnt that it's a grand final every week. I'm more on edge, understanding I have to stay focused every day, even if it's a day off.

"If I can do anything to make sure our name is etched on the 2015 World Cup, I'll do that. I'll leave no stone unturned."

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