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Quade Cooper initiates NFL mode in Japan

By Ian Cameron
Quade Cooper

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Wallabies maverick Quade Cooper is known for his outrageous skills and this weekend he’s showed that NFL skills are very much in his wheelhouse in Japan Rugby League One.

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The Kintetsu Liners flyhalf showed that trick shots aren’t soulreserved for his Instagram account, throwing a 40 yard NFL style cross-field pass to a teammate during his side clash with the Hino Red Dolphins.

“Quade Cooper channeling his inner Tom Brady,” wrote the Saffas Abroad Rugby account on Twitter.

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Cooper later admitted that Super Bowl hype had got the better of him. “Super bowl got me all hyped up today… Go Rams!”

The New Zealand-born 33-year-old, who’s played 75 Tests for Australia is clearly enjoying his rugby in Japan.

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Cooper enjoyed a Test rugby come back in 2021, leading Dave Rennie’s men to two consecutive victories over the Springboks in the Rugby Championship. However, he has appeared to turn his back on the international game when he opted out of a shot at playing for Australia in the Autumn Nations Series, choosing instead to fulfill his contract with Kintetsu Liners.

“Quade obviously wanted the blessing of the club and maybe some flexibility around the tour dates,” Australia coach Rennie said at the time.

“But in the end I think he felt he needed to be there to support his club who are about to head into their season.

“He’s torn. He wants to be here, he wants to be a Wallaby, but he feels loyalty to his club so he’s made a decision that he feels is the right one.

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“They’re his primary employer. We want guys who are desperate to be Wallabies and Quade says he is, but he’s torn. If he had the blessing of the club, he would have come.”

He last played for the Wallabies against Japan, but it is understood he is still very much interested in representing the green and gold. With a year to go until the Rugby World Cup in France, who’d bet against his involvement?

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