As Quade Cooper eyes another return for the Wallabies, the Australian Labor Party is putting its support behind the five-eighth in his bid for citizenship after four failed attempts.
The 33-year-old was called into the national team's camp on Sunday ahead of the Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championships, after James O'Connor was ruled out due to injury.
Despite having 70 caps for the Wallabies - who do not require a player to have a country's citizenship to play - he has been denied for not meeting the special residence requirement laid out in the Australian Citizenship Act 2007.
Labor senator Kristina Keneally said her party were calling on the federal government to review its decision to refuse Cooper's application for Australian citizenship.
She said she had reached out to Cooper to offer "whatever help" she could.
"Cooper represented Australia at two Rugby World Cups and played a pivotal role in our 2011 Tri-Nations Championship victory," she said.
"He also featured prominently in the Queensland Reds' first Super Rugby Championship of the professional era, starring in an 18-10 victory over New Zealand's premier rugby club - the Crusaders - in the same year.
"His citizenship application has been rejected on four occasions by the ... government, despite the fact that he has proudly called Australia home for two decades, and will now rejoin the Wallabies squad for the upcoming Bledisloe Cup series against the All Blacks in August."
Quade Cooper has represented 🇦🇺 80+ times since 2005— Kristina Keneally (@KKeneally) July 26, 2021
But, the Morrison Govt has rejected Quade’s application for citizenship 4 times
This decision should be reviewed
I’ve reached out to Quade to let him know that Labor supports his efforts to officially call Australia home pic.twitter.com/flw2GXESMg
The Kintetsu Liners player was born in Auckland, New Zealand before moving to Australia at 13. He was therefore eligible to play for the Wallabies, having lived in Australia for three years before his senior debut.
However, the Home Affairs Department deemed he did not meet a special resident requirement to qualify for citizenship for persons engaging in activities that are of benefit to Australia.
Would like to thank everyone for their support in light of my citizenship situation. I represented Australia proudly for the first time when 17… it’s more than just a piece of paper. 💚💛— Quade Cooper (@QuadeCooper) July 15, 2021
From the Wallabies camp in the Gold Coast, Cooper remained focused on his chance to don another green and gold jersey and to help the national team in their international Tests.
"To watch the team, how much they've grown in the last two years has been something that I've really enjoyed watching.
"So like I said, I'll be supporting and doing whatever I can to make sure that the progression goes well for this team and, you know, again, if you're picked to play then you put your best foot forward," he said.
"In terms of the citizenship stuff, that's something that I'm sure will get worked out in it's own time."
Cooper's quest for citizenship was brought into the spotlight earlier this month after he tweeted about his application being denied, despite his Wallabies caps.
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