Cooper sings Cheika’s praises

Date published: December 31 2014

Wallabies pivot Quade Cooper believes an inspirational speech from new coach Michael Cheika has helped the team ahead of next year’s World Cup.

Australia have been criticised in the past for a lack of team harmony but Cooper feels that is a thing of the past and credits Cheika’s challenge for the side to be united on their recent tour of Europe with helping them to rediscover their identity.

“The first thing Cheika did was get the whole squad in together really tight so that we would be able to withstand anything thrown at us,” Cooper told The Daily Telegraph.

“So whether we are winning or losing, we can maintain our identity and build an identity.

“That’s what Cheika told us from day one in the very first meeting with us.

“It was something that everybody took on board, but it wasn’t until we started to put it into action that we truly understood it.

“So how we travelled and how everyone was hands on trying to make everyone else’s life a little bit easier.”

The Kurtley Beale scandal had a negative impact on the Australian game, but Cooper revealed that the team has now found a new perspective.

“If you can take a bit of pressure off a team-mate off the field, then you’ll start to think the same way on the on the field as well,” he added.

“I think that was the most important thing that I learnt out of the tour.

“This team needs to build an identity so that Australian public look at the Wallabies and say, ‘oh that’s how they play’.

“It’s now up to us to uphold that standard for no matter how long you play for the Wallabies, whether it be one game or you’re there for 10 years.

“That was a message that made me chuffed and proud to be a part of the team.

“The tour was good to be a part of in that I got to see the team improve, especially with the cultural side of things.

“That’s something that we put a lot of emphasis on.”