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Calls grow for Quade Cooper to be granted Australian citizenship

By Sam Smith

Trending on RugbyPass

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Calls have grown for Wallabies playmaker Quade Cooper to be granted Australian citizenship following his match-winning exploits against the Springboks over the weekend.

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In his first test for the Wallabies in four years on Sunday, Cooper stole the show as he guided his side around the park with aplomb and landed all eight of his kicks at goal, including the game-clincher in injury time, to help his side to a 28-26 win over the reigning world champions.

Cooper’s efforts in the shock result has not only drawn plenty of praise, but it has also renewed calls for the 33-year-old first-five to be granted Australian citizenship after he was denied a passport for his adopted nation earlier this year.

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Much fanfare was made after the New Zealand-born pivot revealed in July that his latest application to become an Australian citizen had been denied by the country’s government.

According to the Department of Home Affairs, Cooper had not provided evidence that he is a “persons engaging in activities of benefit to Australia”, nor is he a “persons engaged in particular kinds of work requiring regular travel outside of Australia”.

At the time, Cooper described the decision, which was confirmed by ‘Shannon’, a Department of Home Affairs employee who penned Cooper’s rejection letter, as “awkward” on Twitter.

Cooper’s rejected application came in spite of the fact that he had lived in Australia since moving there from New Zealand as a 13-year-old, and that he had, at the time, played 70 tests for the Wallabies.

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That number has since risen to 71 after last night’s appearance against South Africa on the Gold Coast, and onlookers have since taken to Twitter in their hoards to call on the Australian Government to grant Cooper citizenship in the wake of his heroics.

An online petition has even been launched with the aim of getting Cooper an Australian passport, while numerous social media users have expressed an eagerness for Shannon and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to overturn their ruling.

In total, Cooper, who was born in Auckland and raised in Tokoroa before relocating to Brisbane as a teenager, has applied for Australian citizenship four times since 2015, all of which have been rejected.

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He has subsequently spent his career playing for the Wallabies while carrying a New Zealand passport, which cost him the chance to represent Australia at the 2016 Rio Olympics as athletes can only represent countries of which they hold citizenship.

Despite his inability to compete at the Olympics, Cooper looks set to stay in the green and gold jersey after Wallabies boss Dave Rennie said there was no reason his star man can’t make it to the 2023 World Cup following his display against the Springboks.

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Calls grow for Quade Cooper to be granted Australian citizenship

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