Former Wallaby Quade Cooper has revealed that he feels “discouraged” after being denied Australian citizenship four times since 2015 due to red tape.
Cooper, 33, felt the trial would be a formality after the fly-half donned the iconic yellow jersey in 70 tests from 2008-2017.
“You can call me naive, but when you’ve represented your country on the world stage … you just expect that when the time comes that it (citizenship) isn’t too difficult,” he told the ABCs. 7.30 program on Tuesday evening.
“When you’re in the stadium, the (national) anthem goes and you look into the crowd and you see all the support… it’s hard not to feel Australian.”
The stumbling block for Cooper, who was born in New Zealand but settled in Brisbane with his family from the age of 13, is the amount of time he has spent abroad, including the past two seasons in Japan.
Former Wallabies star Quade Cooper has seen his Australian citizenship application rejected four times by authorities
Former rugby union star Quade Cooper (pictured left) has called on the Australian government for denying his citizenship application
A spokesperson for the Home Office confirmed that successful applicants must be based in Australia for the past four years.
They must also not be absent from the country for more than ’12 months in total in the four-year period, including no more than 90 days in total in the 12-month period preceding the application’.
Rugby union star’s citizenship papers are not stamped because he chose hij to earn a living playing professional rugby abroad in the twilight of his career.
Cooper believes he has earned that right after giving his all to Australian rugby at the peak of his career.
“I think it would be nice to call this (Australia) home,” he said.
“Every time I leave the country I come home here – this is where I come, here I have made a living for most of my career, here I have a home – the memories I have been able to create. This is home.’
Exemptions may be granted, but another roadblock has arisen. It is unbelievable that the International Rugby Union is not seen as an activity that benefits Australia.
When questioned about the matter, Home Secretary Peter Dutton said “you would like to see” Cooper as an Australian citizen – before pointing out the applicable legal requirements.
Last week, Cooper publicly criticized the Australian government for denying his citizenship application.
take to TwitterCooper, 33, spoke of the “uncomfortable moment” when his citizenship application was denied.
Capturing his denial, Cooper wrote: “Awkward moment @ausgov is denying your citizenship application (again). Apparently wearing the green and gold 70 times isn’t enough these days…’
A formal response from the Home Office stated that Cooper was not engaged in “activities of benefit to Australia” or “jobs requiring frequent travel abroad.”
A frustrated Cooper took to Twitter, outlining that his application was rejected after failing to participate in “activities of benefit to Australia” or “any work that requires frequent travel outside the country” – he played 70 Tests for the Wallabies of 2008-2017
A stunned Cooper also took up the bizarre response from the Department of the Interior in his tweet on Tuesday after submitting his form.
Cooper represented the Wallabies in all parts of the world from 2008-2017, including two World Cup campaigns.
Paperwork dramas and Cooper seem to go hand in hand.
He was brutally dumped from the Aussie Olympic sevens team in 2016 for the Games in Brazil because he was not considered a citizen.
Last April, Cooper split from bikini model Laura Dundovi na after five years of living together.
The couple started dating in 2014 after meeting through a mutual friend.
Cooper was also a talking point in 2020 when he revealed how a radical “carnivore diet” left him in the best physical shape of his career.
His meal plan of bone broth, rib-eye steaks and oysters had given him more energy and the muscular physique he needs to play a top-level contact sport.
“It seems strange to a lot of people because what we’re being told is normal — ‘eat vegetables, otherwise you won’t digest your food’ — I’ve had no problems at all,” Cooper said at the time.
He added that he felt gassed and bloated when he ate more vegetables and before the diet phased out vegetables before switching to the “carnivore diet.”
Cooper is currently on the books of Japanese outfit Kintetsu Liners.
Quade Cooper (pictured) represented the Wallabies in 70 tests – but his application for Australian citizenship was again rejected