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Quade Cooper opens up

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Quade Cooper opens up about heritage and desire to play for New Zealand Maori

Quade Cooper has opened up about the continued exploration of his heritage and expressed a desire to one day play for the New Zealand Maori.

Cooper has been spending his time with Brisbane club Souths after being shunned by the Queensland Reds and hasn’t represented Australia since June 2017.

He explained in an interview with Marae that he has endeavored to learn more about his tribal connections in his home country.

“Sometimes I didn’t feel worthy of being Maori,” Cooper said. “Living in Australia you sort of … not forget but it’s not right on your doorstep.”

“But I think being Maori, that’s something that’s inside you.”

Cooper was born in Auckland and moved from Tokoroa to Queensland at the age of 13.

“A lot of times people criticise you because I have played for Australia and things like that. And sometimes I have felt, ‘OK, that’s a bit true’ because I don’t necessarily know enough about my family or my heritage or what I’d like to know,” he continued.

“I’ve been trying to learn a little bit more and try and get a bit more knowledge on my roots, I think it’s all a journey.

“If I was ever to play for the Maori one day, that would be another step in that journey.”

Cooper has been capped for Australia 70 times, and won a Super Rugby title with the Reds in 2011.

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Quade Cooper opens up about heritage and desire to play for New Zealand Maori