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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Quade Cooper returns after seven months off through injury

Quade Cooper made his long-awaited return to rugby on the weekend after being out of the game since injuring his knee seven months ago in the Rugby World Cup match against Wales. He spoke to Fox Sports about coming back, rehabilitation, and Richie.

By Cooper's standards, his performances for the Wallabies at the world cup were well below par. Going into the tournament they were serious contenders, but struggled at times, with the gifted number ten's form partly to blame.

He got a rough ride from the Kiwi crowds, mainly due to his apparent feud with Richie McCaw, which many believed didn't help is game, but he says that the bad form wasn't due to that. He also doesnt regret anything that happened, dating back to Hong Kong.

"If I was to take any kind of backward step to Richie or anyone else on the field, then what sort of example is that setting for the rest of my teammates", Cooper explained.

He's been working hard for the last seven months, doing the training and gym work to get his ACL fixed up, and Reds captain James Horwill believes he will come back stronger.

"Quade certainly worked hard in the off-season while he was injured. I think the boys really enjoy having him around at training – not only the freakish ability he’s got but he’s very good at organising the boys around him," Horwill said.

"And I think that’s something we may have missed earlier in the year – his talk on the field is very good and he organises the play very well and he directs traffic."

Fox Sports' Nick McArdle spoke with Cooper ahead of his comeback game, touching on subjects that have got people talking in the past, and some that you may not have known about.

View highlights of his return game, the Reds vs the Lions, here

Credit: Fox Sports Australia

Posted at 9:55 am | 37 comments

Quade Cooper - Public Enemy Number One in New Zealand

Cian Healy's hit on Quade Cooper in Auckland

Quade Cooper cleared for knee in Richie McCaw's face

Brett Sheehan's big hit on Quade Cooper

Quade Cooper's try and big celebration against the 'Tahs

Quade Cooper's outrageous sidestep on Cory Jane

Viewing 37 comments

Pretzel May 23, 2012 12:39 pm

Never really had an issue with Cooper, apart from when he let his ancestral past take over that one time.. But after seeing this, I have a lot more respect for the guy, he seems very genuine, and he does make a good point about the Richie incident.. I mean lets face it, Quade was the new boy on the scene and Richie is/was the top dog, he showed he wasn't afraid of Richie and that it nobody else needs to be either...

Hope to see him doing his magic in the future... Not sure he'll be doing those try scoring somersaults again though :/

Good luck to him in the future!

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Silky May 23, 2012 12:53 pm

Best of luck to him, hope he comes back with a bang, quality player.

He does seem like a decent bloke but stil, Il dont like "any" player that gives cheap shots or rubs it peoples face when their down. hope to see less of that in the future and more rugby from him

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Guest83 May 24, 2012 4:16 am

Agreed. Best of luck to him in the future. He's a great footballer who attracts huge crowds.

However, he should only be seen and not heard because I think I just got dumber listening to him struggle to articulate himself.

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Guest1345234 May 23, 2012 2:25 pm

I couldn't agree more - well said.

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BBBuck May 23, 2012 2:36 pm

Taking a backwards step is different than taking dirty steps son.

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Oceansnz May 24, 2012 12:59 am

Completely agree. Quade seemed to miss the point.

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Ian May 24, 2012 12:19 pm

You All Blacks supporters just don't get it. Quade Cooper, standing up to the bullys, well done Quade, your a champion!

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rob10 May 23, 2012 2:55 pm

Total legend - let's hope him and genia cook up more magic for the reds for the remainder of the season.

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yupyupgup May 23, 2012 3:21 pm

still a bit of a cock though...

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Jon May 23, 2012 3:26 pm

Mccaw kicked him in Hong Kong and punched him in Brisbane. Quade pushed Mccaw in Hong Kong and kneed him in Brisbane.
They were as bad as each other.

Frankly all the bs about Cooper being a terrbile b@strd was ridiculous. Mccaw was no better.

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Murina May 23, 2012 3:30 pm

I'm utterly bemused at why an Aussie fan would want him back. Sure he's great to watch as a neutral spectator (me) but Australia is NOT going to win tournaments with someone so defensively frail and mentally fragile. With a country that has seen the fruits of picking a Lynagh and Larkham and sees others win with a Carter or Wilkinson, why do they think this is their guy? It's not as if they are short of talent in the position.

Anyway, I'm happy to watch him....

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Jon May 23, 2012 3:34 pm

Just some evidence and context :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkDTkXuxr7Q Hong Kong

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJQzaQ1k0kM&feature=related

Watch at the beginning of this clip as Mccaw first elbows then punches Cooper in the face at a ruck. This is well before the knee.

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stroudos May 23, 2012 7:20 pm

Good comments and links Jon.

The bit at the beginning of the second clip is quite amusing in a way - Offside Rich sort of looks confused at Cooper coming through the middle of a ruck and legally pushing him off it - almost like it doesn't fit with his perception of the ruck laws.

By the way, 0:55 of 2nd video also clearly shows Cooper at his most frustrating - OK Nonu's changed direction quite suddenly, but Cooper just stands there practically rolling out a red carpet. easy to see why people complain about shit (or in this case complete lack of) defence.

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stroudos May 23, 2012 7:22 pm

Although, in fairness there's no way Cooper was going to stop Nonu from that range so maybe he's made the right decision to avoid potential injury and get set for the next bit of play.....

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Eggman May 23, 2012 7:46 pm

I also find it amusing how the kiwi commentators say that Cooper's got caught in the wrong place, considering he just pushed McCaw off of the ruck legally and got a few handbags for it..

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Oceansnz May 24, 2012 1:08 am

You have got to be KIDDING! All incidents with Macaw show Quade ALREADY ON HIM OR HAVE STRUCK HIM. There is zero footage of an attack or an initiating blow of any sort by Macaw. You're reading too much into what Macaw supposedly does.

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Jon May 24, 2012 2:06 am

Oceansnz, your bias is showing.

Mate, you understand that Quade Cooper is allowed to ruck right? He's allowed to make physical contact with Richie Mccaw. He rucked him, pushed him back from the ruck on both occasions. He did so quite legally. In the first case Mccaw was actually offside and Quade cleared him out quite impressively for a fly-half on a no7.
Mccaw's reaction to the rucking was to :
1) In Hong Kong he kicked him
2) In Brisbane he first elbows him across the face, then punches him in the face, then palms him in the face.

(He also raked his studs down Pocock's leg in Hong Kong at a scrum).

Everyone who isn't a one-eyed All Blacks supporter can see that quite clearly.

Here's the thing mate, Mccaw is known as a great player who gets away with murder (some just call him an outright cheater, in the UK they often call him McCheat). He's far from a saint. In every country other than NZ he is reviled and respected in equal measure.

To me, and I don't know this for sure, it seems like he was offended that a fly-half had dared to clear him from a ruck, and reacted petulantly by first kicking him in the leg and then elbowing, punching and palming him in the face.
It's as though you think he should be allowed to do this. As though because he's a hero in NZ (and rightly so), he should be allowed to kick, elbow and punch his way through test matches, and everyone is forbidden from ever retaliating or standing up for themselves.

It's ridiculous.

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Rangi2Boss May 24, 2012 1:00 pm

Wot!? Beck off! How dare you quustyin tha untegruty of Kung Ruchie! I almost sput out my fush and chups, bro! Had to funush the Speights and grab enother from the chully bun. You need a swuft kick in the mountain oysters with my size suxteen jandals!

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kadova June 04, 2012 1:04 am

Thanks for the laugh, mate. For a non native english speaker, that was brilliant !
And for the issue, as a neutral (not kiwi, not aussie) fan, i hope Cooper will return to his best level. We have Australia in november test here, so let's hope and see.

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Aventador May 23, 2012 3:51 pm

''Australia is NOT going to win tournaments with someone so defensively frail and mentally fragile.''

uh Murina, australia won the tri-nations last year with cooper in the team. You just discover rugby today? another keyboard warrior with too many silly opinions

and Jon well done mate, thankfully there are other rugby fans who are not one-eyed or worship everything mccaw to realise ritchie was the antagonist in all the drama. The two were at it and just as bad as one other, if the WC was held anywhere but NZ he wouldnt have got treated so poorly but well kiwis are renowned for being terribly arrogant and the sorest of losers

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Pretzel May 23, 2012 4:35 pm

I gotta disagree with a lot of you. I personally am not a fan of dirty players, however I wouldn't say Cooper is particularly dirtIER than any other player.. I think he faces up to McCaw, the second video Jon posted at the start shows that Cooper is not afraid to get in a tussle with McCaw... I think this shows a lot of mental strength... if we chucked cooper and McCaw together and let them bash it out, I think McCaw would win, and I think that Cooper knows this, but he is not going to get pushed about by McCaw.. and whether you want to believe it or not McCaw is the master of misdeeds.. (THIS DOES NOT MEAN I WOULDN'T PICK HIM FIRST FOR MY TEAM!) he has his hands in the rucks, he comes in from the side and he DOES get away with murder.. So Cooper is basically saying I'm not letting you get away with anything and I'm not afraid of you..

He might not be a first pick in my "Dream XV" but he is definitely in top 5!

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Jon May 24, 2012 1:50 pm

Hey another thing that's interesting about the clip is an example of an interesting tactic the kiwis used on occison last year.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJQzaQ1k0kM&feature=related

Check out the second try by the all blacks at 0:48.
About five metres away from the actual ruck, two all blacks are pinning Pocock to the ground, preventing him from joining the defensive line and making a tackle.
Notice that the All Blacks go right, then straight back to the left and run directly at the gap that is created by Pocock's being pinned illegally to the ground.

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mise May 23, 2012 6:07 pm

mcCaw defo gets away with it:@ he's miles offside when Cooper clears him out in that first clip from Jon. As usual. A post rugby career in hypnosis awaits Sir Richie, as he seems to have refs bamboozled continuously.....
Cooper reacted cos the ref, like all refs, let McCaw away with it. Continuously.

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cafnc1 May 24, 2012 12:34 am

hard to find an honest interview with a sportsman these days... nice one Quade, nice one RD

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Oceansnz May 24, 2012 1:11 am

I was willing to watch this video to see if Quade had grown as a person and to see if he wasn't such a putz as initially interpreted by many. Unfortunately, this video confirms only a little improvement.

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Jon May 24, 2012 2:18 am

Oceansnz, what does he owe you?
You talk like his personal redemption as a human being (ignoring the fact that you obviously don't know him personally at all) is your business.
The Kiwi attitude to Cooper is as absurd and ridiculous as it is petty and small-minded.

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JG May 24, 2012 4:57 am

Sorry Quade, you made a fool of yourself last year with your behaviour, you made an idiot of yourself last year by your arrogant words directed towards an Australian great. And you seem to try and justify your dirty play in this interveiw. You may be selling son, but I ain't buying. @Jon, I think it is you who is showing their bias, Ritchie was simply responding to his treatment.

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Jon May 24, 2012 6:21 am

Really? How is that possible when Cooper kneed Mccaw AFTER he got punched and elbowed? Look at the clock on the video.
And with the push, that occurred bang on full time, again AFTER Mccaw kicked him.

I'm sorry but how can you say what you've just said?
It's impossible. How could Mccaw be responding to Cooper if he kicked him before Cooper pushed him? Did he somehow know that in the future Cooper would shove him, so just thought he would get a quick kick in there?

What are you talking about?

It's really crazy stuff. Like kind of irrational.

I'm not saying Cooper should have kneed Mccaw by the way, I said they're as bad as each other. Mccaw started it, and Cooper handled it very badly. Anyone can see that. It's not something you can argue with. Just look at the clock on the game. I can't even believe you're debating it.

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Jon May 24, 2012 6:33 am

Actually JG, you know what, never mind.
It's one of those things where I don't think I'll ever meet a kiwi who sees it any differently than you do. And I kind of understand. Mccaw's your hero, you guys despise Cooper for a few reasons, and you see this whole thing in very black and white terms. It's an emotional thing for kiwis.

So let's agree to disagree.
All good mate.

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Pretzel May 24, 2012 12:25 pm

Yeh good call there Jon... I saw your comments up there where you replied to people who can't see the wood for the trees, and unfortunately it looks like you had to do it 3 or 4 times...

I think it is sad, I am NOT a fanboy when it comes to Quade, I mean I was pissed off when he got caught for that crim activity. It annoyed me how a person of his age and perhaps his salary could be involved in such a pathetic activity, it showed complete ignorance.. But since then I think he has become so much stronger and more positive, and I admit I find him a brilliant player to watch. He is an arrogant cock on the field.. as are most Australians, but this interview here showed the less pumped up side of him, the side that just wants to do what he loved.

As for McCaw.. again a BRILLIANT player, and part of that brilliance is BECAUSE he is so damn good at; lets face it, cheating! He knows how to play the referee, he knows what he can get away with, and he does it so so so well.. Tbh rugby is probably won and lost on the ground when it comes to holding on, handling on the ground etc, so why not have someone who can exploit that? Everyone else does it and tries to do it, just no one as successful at it as McCaw... Why the NZ bunch can't see this I do not know.. AND in reality it is rugby, its a game, man the fuck up, McCaw is going to get bashed about, he is not some untouchable 'King'... I sadly get the impression that if McCaw was injured in a legitimate tackle then the tackler would be heckled forever more for the tackle...

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Jon May 24, 2012 1:56 pm

I agree with most of that. Not so much the all Aussies are arsholes on the field bit, but hey I'm an Aussie so how could I.
I reckon that there are a fair number of arseholes and pricks in any group, whatever country they are from.

And the irony of all this (and one of the reasons the kiwis hate him) is that Cooper is born in NZ. He moved to Aus as a 14 year old, and played all his top level rugby here, but hes still at least half a kiwi.

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Pretzel May 24, 2012 3:20 pm

Sorry I must of written that by accident, I didn't mean all Aussies are a-holes on the field, certainly no more than any other country, the arrogant side is probably misinterpreted confidence.. Actually when you take a player off the field you see who he really is, generally the guy on the field is a different person.

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hurcules May 24, 2012 4:05 pm

I'm a Kiwi myself and i live in Hong Kong and went to that game. Cooper and Richie were giving each other **** all night even though you didn't see it on TV. I do believe that Richie does gets away with Murder, But he does it such a way that he never get's caught for it. I do find it funny to see so many Aussies sticking up for Kiwi rather than complaining that the likes of Beale or O'Connor are not at 10 for Australia. These two guys in my opinion are two of the best play makers in the game in this generation.

In short this is rugby and with out a bit of banter we might as well be playing football

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cool calm and collected May 24, 2012 5:43 pm

Cant wait for Quade Cooper to put on a baa baas shirt.

Quade Cooper + Baa Baas = Awesome

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ronanrfc May 24, 2012 10:14 pm

Thank god for the likes of jon on here talking sense and logic

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coops May 25, 2012 9:14 am

Can't believe it by Quade Cooper is now my role model.

Tore my ACL in the exact same way he did (i.e. 'got snipered') except for the fact I'm a crash ball centre, and my sidesteps are, well, interesting. Either way, managed to pop tear my ACL attempting a Quade Cooper in the last game of the season 6 weeks ago, now I'm going to miss most of next. Have a reconstruction next week.

But if Quade can come back from it and be bouncing off his knee like that, then that gives me a lot of hope. When you play amateur and you get a serious knee injury, you always think 'oh crap, is that it', but seeing guys recover and hit the same heights again is always an inspiration.

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Pretzel May 25, 2012 3:07 pm

Good luck with your recovery! Hope it all goes well!

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