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Rugby-After five years and five attempts, Cooper gets Australian citizenship

Randy Mancini 2 Feb 24
FILE PHOTO: After five years and five attempts, Cooper gets Australian citizenship
FILE PHOTO: Rugby player Quade Cooper poses for a photo during an interview in Melbourne, Australia February 19, 2019. REUTERS/Ian Ransom/File Photo

February 24, 2022

(Reuters) – Wallabies flyhalf Quade Cooper received his Australian citizenship on Thursday after five years and five attempts and having represented the country 75 times.

New Zealand-born Cooper moved to Australia as a teen but his applications for citizenship had been repeatedly declined before a tweak was made to eligibility rules for “most talented prospective” applicants last year.

Cooper played a starring role in the Wallabies’ 28-26 win over world champions South Africa in September following his recall to the team, triggering calls on social media for the government to expedite his citizenship.

“Ceremony done and after five years, five attempts, 75 test matches and a lot of help from the community and many people behind the scenes I can finally say I’m Australian,” Cooper said on Twitter, while thanking his immigration officer.

The 33-year-old, who represented Australia at two World Cups, had previously responded to his citizenship rejections with humour, even posting his rejection letter on social media in July.

Cooper, who plays for Japanese side Kintetsu Liners, was denied the chance to be selected for the Australian rugby sevens team for the 2016 Rio Olympics because he was not a citizen.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Robert Birsel)