Planet Rugby

Cooper speechless over vice captaincy

31st October 2013 19:02

Share:

Quade Cooper Aus training 2013

Quade Cooper: Honoured with his new role

Quade Cooper admitted he'd been rendered "speechless" when Australia coach Ewen McKenzie named him as vice-captain for the Wallabies' tour-opening Test against England at Twickenham on Saturday.

The talented fly-half was in international exile for nearly a year after accusing former Wallaby coach Robbie Deans of creating a "toxic" environment.

But following the New Zealander's departure after Australia's 2-1 series loss to the British and Irish Lions in July, Cooper found himself back in the Test fold under new boss McKenzie, previously his coach at the Reds and returned to the international scene as a replacement.

However, the 25-year-old New Zealand born playmaker has started Australia's last five Tests and this weekend Cooper will win his 46th cap as part of a new leadership duo, with number eight Ben Mowen replacing James Horwill as Wallaby captain.

"Being vice-captain is a great honour," Cooper told reporters at Australia's London hotel following Thursday's team announcement.

"It's one of those things where you are a bit speechless, you don't really know what to say and you just accept it."

Cooper admitted he feared the worst just before McKenzie told him about his new role.

"When you get the tap on the shoulder you are often looking to see if you are selected... To get the vice-captaincy next to your name is something I see as being pretty special."

Cooper said being out of the Test side had helped him to re-assess his approach to rugby and life in general.

"If you can contribute to the right people on and off the field, away from the game how you act as a person, how you act as a family man, those things roll along into how you act as a player in and around the team because the team is pretty much an extended family," he added.

"You've got to continue to work at that and not nod off and say 'I've made it this far and that's enough'.

"That's the same with our footy. We've got to continue to get better and strive for success," Cooper said of an Australia side who've have won just three of their 10 Tests so far this year.

Asked if he feared he might never play another Test, Cooper replied: "We are all human, you always have those thoughts in the back of your head.

"I've got a pretty good life when you look at it. When you look at some other people's lives, sometimes they have a much harder life than you do. So you've got to look at what you have and be grateful for it.

"That's all I'm doing now, which is different to a few years ago.

"If you do the right thing, more often than not the right thing happens to you," explained Cooper, who added playing for the Reds, where McKenzie made him captain against the Lions in a tour match, had given him "30 team-mates you have to do the right thing for".

McKenzie, explaining Cooper's promotion, said: "I picked him as captain against the Lions but the one thing that hasn't changed all the time I've known him is his contribution to the game, his ability to call the game and manage what's going him on.

"I haven't chosen him in the past (for Tests) so it's more a reflection of where he's gone as a person.

"The last 12 months, I've seen him on that journey and I've noticed a difference. The guys here (in the Australia squad) have all made the same comments. For all those reasons, he's a good choice."

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins vs Leicester19:45
Saturday , April 19
Exeter vs Sale15:00
Bath vs Worcester15:00
Wasps vs Gloucester15:15
Sunday , April 20
Northampton vs London Irish14:00
Newcastle vs Saracens15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Friday , April 18
Leinster vs Benetton Treviso17:00
Glasgow vs Ulster19:35
Saturday , April 19
Zebre vs Edinburgh14:30
Connacht vs Munster18:15
Sunday , April 20
Cardiff Blues vs Scarlets14:00
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Ospreys16:45
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , April 18
Castres vs Montpellier20:45
Saturday , April 19
Oyonnax vs Toulouse14:55
Perpignan vs Toulon17:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Biarritz vs Brive18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles20:35
More Top 14 fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 18
Hurricanes vs Blues19:35
Melbourne Rebels vs Western Force19:40
Saturday , April 19
Chiefs vs Crusaders19:35
Waratahs vs Bulls19:00
Sharks vs Cheetahs15:00
Stormers vs Lions17:05
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 13
Saracens 28 - 24 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Irish 40 - 12 NewcastleLondon Irish vs Newcastle Report
Saturday , April 12
Worcester 33 - 38 ExeterWorcester vs Exeter Report
Leicester 27 - 15 WaspsLeicester vs Wasps Report
Gloucester 17 - 18 BathGloucester vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Benetton Treviso 45 - 27 Newport Gwent D'gonsBenetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D
Scarlets 27 - 20 ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Report
Munster 5 - 22 GlasgowMunster vs Glasgow Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 20 - 22 ToulonBordeaux-Begles vs Toulon Report
Toulouse 16 - 9 BriveToulouse vs Brive Report
Grenoble 30 - 36 Montpellier
Perpignan 22 - 12 Oyonnax
Bayonne 24 - 19 Stade Francais
Racing Metro Paris 37 - 7 Biarritz
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 22 - 16 Melbourne RebelsChiefs vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Western Force 28 - 16 WaratahsWestern Force vs Waratahs Report
Lions 12 - 25 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Cheetahs 31 - 52 CrusadersCheetahs vs Crusaders Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 11
Sale Sharks 12 - 27 HarlequinsSale Sharks vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Ulster 58 - 12 ConnachtUlster vs Connacht Report
Edinburgh 22 - 29 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
Ospreys 25 - 19 LeinsterOspreys vs Leinster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 23 - 11 CastresClermont Auvergne vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Highlanders 27 - 20 BullsHighlanders vs Bulls Report
Reds 20 - 23 BrumbiesReds vs Brumbies Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens1976
2Northampton1966
3Leicester Tigers1963
4Bath1959
5Harlequins1954