Quade Cooper: Australian rugby union star to be granted citizenship

Quade Cooper: Australian rugby union star to be granted citizenship
Quade Cooper: Australian rugby union star to be granted citizenship

He was the hero for the Wallabies on Sunday after booting a clutch penalty goal against South Africa - and now Quade Cooper is set to be finally granted his request for Australian citizenship.

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke has announced a major policy change in news the veteran fly-half will welcome with open arms.

New Zealand born Cooper, 33 - who moved to Australia with his family at the age of 13 - has previously seen his request for citizenship denied on four occasions.

Incredibly, Cooper's latest application in July was rejected on the grounds he had failed to 'engage in activities of benefit to Australia'.

That's despite proudly playing 71 Tests in the iconic yellow jersey after making his Wallabies debut in 2008.

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Quade Cooper kicks a match-winning penalty for the Wallabies against South Africa on Sunday - now his request for citizenship is finally set to be granted

Quade Cooper kicks a match-winning penalty for the Wallabies against South Africa on Sunday - now his request for citizenship is finally set to be granted

The stumbling block Cooper faced was that, under the law, he couldn't be abroad for more than 12 months in the four years before applying for citizenship. 

His stint in Japanese rugby with club side Kintetsu Liners in 2020 and 2021 had rendered him ineligible, but that is finally set to change. 

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke provided hope for Cooper announced on Tuesday that he had instructed the Department of Home Affairs to be more flexible - opening the door for Cooper to officially become an Australian. 

'Australian citizenship is a rare privilege and it should not come easily,' Mr Hawke said in a statement.

'However, the unique work and travel demands on some of our most highly distinguished prospective Australians should not preclude them from making the cut.' 

The change comes after Labor Senate leader Kristina Keneally labelled Cooper a 'hero' following his brilliance performance against the Springboks.

'With everything on the line, he (Cooper) took on the responsibility and got the job done for his country and for his mates,' she told the Sydney Morning Herald earlier this week. 

'Quade Cooper's passport needs to match his jersey. He's an Australian hero and he should be an Australian citizen.'

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In July, Cooper said he was feeling 'disheartened' after being denied citizenship by authorities. 

Former Wallabies star Quade Cooper has seen his application for Australian citizenship denied four times by authorities - that is set to change

Former Wallabies star Quade Cooper has seen his application for Australian citizenship denied four times by authorities - that is set to change

Former rugby union star Quade Cooper (pictured, left with ex girlfriend Laura Dundovic) has called out the Australian government for refusing his application for citizenship

Former rugby union star Quade Cooper (pictured, left with ex girlfriend Laura Dundovic) has called out the Australian government for refusing his application for citizenship

'You can call me naïve, but when you've been out representing your country on the world stage...you just expect when the time comes it

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