Quade Cooper

  • 36Age
  • 182cm Height
  • 85kg Weight
Wallaby Number830
Date Of BirthApril 5, 1988
Place of BirthAuckland, New Zealand
SchoolAnglican Church Grammar School; Rochedale State High School, Brisbane; Springwood State High School, Logan City, QLD & Forest View High School, Tokoroa, New Zealand
Debut ClubSouths (Brisbane)
Other ClubToulon (FRA), Kintetsu Liners (JAP)
Debut Test Match2008 vs. Italy, Padova
Rugby World Cups2011 & 2015
Other ProvinceMelbourne Rebels

The U.K.’s Independent newspaper once described Quade Cooper as “a playmaker whose genius for the unexpected can leave his team both exhilarated and exasperated, sometimes in the course of the same move.”

As an enigmatic, mercurial, and undoubtedly talented fly-half Cooper - whether he played well, poorly or somewhere in the middle - is the single most-scrutinised Wallaby of his generation. While Cooper polarised opinion across the rugby world his character reminded former Wallaby coach Ewen McKenzie of the gifted maverick that was David Campese. McKenzie said, “People liked to tear Campo down too, but he had the X-factor which brought people through the gates to see him.”

Cooper was born in New Zealand however his family moved to Brisbane when he was 13. He attended the Rochedale State High School and Springwood State High School before he won a scholarship to “Churchie”, and it was there that Cooper starred for the 1st XV. In 2006, during his second year of Australian Schools representation, Cooper made his Queensland debut and a little over two seasons later he played a Test for his country, against Italy in Padua.

Cooper became the first-choice fly half in 2010 and aside from injury, predominantly held that position for four seasons. In 2014, the Waratahs’ Super 14 triumph combined with Cooper’s two surgeries opened the door for Bernard Foley to assume the #10 jersey. Nonetheless, Cooper was picked for his second Rugby World Cup in 2015 before a dalliance with the Australian Sevens’ programme and a departure for Japan.

In 2021, Cooper made a fairy-tale return from the international wilderness and, rather prophetically, converted an after-the-siren penalty goal to defeat South Africa on the Gold Coast.


2005 Selected in the Australian Schools match day squad for each of the three domestic Tests. Cooper started at fullback in all four Tests played on the end-of season tour to the U.K. and Ireland.

2006 Represented Australian Schools against Tonga U18s, Fijian Schools and New Zealand Schools.

2008 Selected for the Wallabies end-of-season Spring Tour, Cooper won his first Test cap off the bench when he replaced Timana Tahu at No. 12 in the 30-20 victory over Italy in Padova. He marked his arrival on the international scene with a scintillating match-winning debut try when he eluded half the Italian side in a solo 30 metre side-stepping masterpiece.

2009 Cooper won eight caps from the 14 internationals played by the Wallabies. He earned his first run-on XV cap when selected at No. 12 in the 34-12, 2nd Test victory over Italy in Melbourne.

2010 Cooper found himself as starting fly-half for the opening five Tests of the year before he was forced to miss the first two internationals against New Zealand due to suspension. He then returned to the side at No. 10 for the remaining eight Tests of the season.

2011 Fortunate to miss the season opening home loss to Samoa, Cooper went on to play in 11 consecutive Tests, including every match of his first Rugby World Cup. Cooper’s tournament ended on a sour note during the bronze medal playoff victory against Wales when he attempted an audacious sidestep that ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament.

2012 Rehabilitation from the knee injury ruled him out for the start of the 2012 season however he returned to win three caps during the Rugby Championship. Scans taken after the 23-19, 1st Test victory against Argentina on the Gold Coast revealed that Cooper had a small chip of articular cartilage in his right knee. Subsequent surgery ruled him out for the rest of the international season.

2013 While he was overlooked for the home series against the British & Irish Lions the mid-year selection of former Reds mentor Ewen McKenzie as new Wallabies coach saw Cooper return to the fold. He played in the each of the final 12 internationals that season, including the last 10 consecutively as starting fly-half. Cooper became the 40th Wallaby to play 50 Tests in the 30-26 victory over Wales in Cardiff.

2014 Cooper missed much of the season due to shoulder and hip surgery but managed to return for the end-of-season Spring Tour where he picked up replacement caps against France, Ireland and England.

2015 He started the season as run-on fly half for the opening Rugby Championship Test against South Africa however the form of No.10 rival Bernard Foley saw Cooper win just five caps for the year. While selected to a second Rugby World Cup his lone match was as the run-on fly half in the pool game against Uruguay in Birmingham.

2016 Cooper joined the national Sevens program in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to secure a place in the Australian squad for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. He won nine Test caps including five at starting fly half during the Rugby Championship.

2017 Cooper won replacement caps in each of three domestic June Tests but was overlooked for selection throughout the Rugby Championship and in the end-of-season Spring Tour squad.

2021 More than four years after his 70th cap Cooper returned to the Wallabies when named to face South Africa in the first Test on the Gold Coast. In a masterful display Cooper converted all seven penalty goals and the conversion of Andrew Kellaway’s sole try to secure a memorable 28-26 win. Cooper won a further four caps, each in the winning side, before he reluctantly withdrew from the Spring Tour to honour commitments with his Japanese club.

2022 Cooper missed the home series against England after he suffered “calf awareness” in the warm-up ahead of the first Test in Perth. He returned for the opening match of the Rugby Championship, away to Argentina, however in the 48th minute Cooper ruptured his Achilles tendon. The injury saw Cooper miss the remainder of the season.

Quade Cooper Headshot 2023