It is a new era. The Wallaby selection panel of one is now three, and dictatorship has been replaced by something a lot more democratic.
Australian Rugby Union today announced Wallabies flyhalf Quade Cooper has re-signed with Australian Rugby until the end of 2012.
Cooper, who featured in the starting line-up of 13 of the Wallabies 15 Tests in 2010, is the 17th player to re-sign with Australian Rugby in 2011 further bolstering the Wallabies stocks ahead of the up-coming Tri Nations and Rugby World Cup.
The creative flyhalf first gained selection in 2008 as part of Australia’s Spring Tour squad following an impressive showing at the inaugural U20s World Cup in Wales earlier that year.
Since his debut in 2008 Cooper has established himself as a key contributor and play maker in the Wallabies back line earning 24 Test caps.
Cooper said he was pleased to finalise an agreement with the ARU and was now focused on the remainder of the Reds’ 2011 campaign.
“It’s an exciting time to be part of Australian Rugby with the Reds going so well and the World Cup coming up, so I’m glad everything is now squared away,” Cooper said.
ARU Managing Director and CEO John O’Neill, who was in contact with Cooper during the negotiation process, paid tribute to the Test pivot’s talents.
“Quade delivers an X Factor, that is undeniable,” said Mr O’Neill.
“He has that rare ability to excite an audience and have a defence on alert every time he touches the ball.
“His vision for the game and athletic talent make him a born entertainer and sport is an entertainment business.
“I’m delighted we’ve extended Quade’s tenure in Rugby beyond this year’s Rugby World Cup because I believe there are some wonderful times ahead for him and this young Wallabies team.
“Quade and his halves partner Will Genia have become superb and consistent contributors to the Reds and the Wallabies and it’s hard to imagine a better double act in world Rugby.”
Quade Cooper’s Career Timeline
Member of Australian Schoolboys squad.
Member of Australian Schoolboys squad, one of three most capped Schoolboys of all time.
Named in train-on squad for Wallaby and Australia A campaign; debut for Reds in Super 14 against Crusaders in Christchurch; member of Australian Under 19 squad for iRB World Championships.
Established himself as a regular for the Reds before representing Australia at the inaugural iRB Under-20 World Cup in Wales. Then selected for the Wallabies Spring Tour, scoring the match-sealing try 10 minutes into his debut against Italy, after coming off the bench. Backed that up with appearances as a replacement in the Tests against France and Wales, playing 78-minutes of the latter match after tour skipper Stirling Mortlock was injured. Then starred from flyhalf during the tour-ending win over the Barbarians at Wembley.
Is one of just four players – and the only member of the backline – to appear in all 13 matches during Queensland’s injury ravaged Super 14 campaign. Scored four tries, which was second only to Digby Ioane among the team’s leading try-scorers. Gained his first Test start, playing at inside centre, during the second Test against Italy in Melbourne. Went on to feature eight times for the Wallabies, starting all four Tests on the Grand Slam tour from the inside centre position.
Claims the Australian Super Rugby Player of the Year award after leading the Queensland revival before picking up two Man of the match awards during the June Tests against England and Ireland. Finishes 2010 playing 13 of Australia’s 15 Tests for the year with five tries, one conversion and three penalty goals for a total of 22 points for the year.