Quade Santini Cooper, born on 5 April 1988, is a professional rugby union player and occasional boxer. Although born in New Zealand, he has represented Australia at the international level.
Cooper is currently playing for Hanazono Liners in Japan and has previously played for the Queensland Reds and the Melbourne Rebels in the Super Rugby competition in Australia. His preferred position is fly-half.
Quade Santini Cooper was born in Auckland, New Zealand, on 5 April 1988. He moved to Tokoroa as a one-year-old and was raised by his mother and step-father. Cooper attended various schools in New Zealand and Brisbane, Australia, before earning a scholarship to Anglican Church Grammar School. He excelled in rugby union and played for the school's first XV team.
Cooper made his debut for the Queensland Reds in 2007 during the Super 14 season at the age of 18, just one year after finishing school. Despite the tough transition from schoolboy rugby to Super 14 level, Cooper quickly developed and showcased his natural talent and deceptive step.
In 2009, he was called up to the Wallabies and made his first starting appearance against Italy. Later that year, he achieved several firsts on the international stage, including his first start at flyhalf for Australia and victories over New Zealand and South Africa.
Following a breakthrough 2010 Super Rugby season, Cooper had an outstanding year in 2011. He played in every match during the Reds' Super Rugby title campaign and finished the season with a record personal tally of 228 points, surpassing his own previous record of 171 points. He also reached significant milestones, earning his 50th cap for Queensland and playing his 50th Super Rugby game.
Cooper faced a series of serious injuries in 2014 and the beginning of the 2015 season, including a shoulder dislocation that kept him out of both club and national duty. However, he made a strong return and was selected to represent Australia at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
After his stint with RC Toulon in France, Cooper returned to the Queensland Reds in August 2016, signing a three-year deal. He had previously represented the Reds 105 times from 2006 to 2015, scoring 770 points. In October 2018, Cooper joined the Melbourne Rebels, signing a one-year contract. He added to his impressive career with 70 Test caps and 119 Super Rugby caps.
Following the end of his contract with the Rebels and not being selected for the Wallabies, Cooper signed with the Top League club Kintetsu Liners in Japan. In October 2021, he decided to pull out from the Australia squad for the Autumn Nations Series in order to rest before the start of the season with Kintetsu Liners.
In addition to rugby, Cooper has pursued a career in boxing. He has participated in several professional boxing matches, winning all three of them by knockout. Cooper has fought in the cruiserweight division and has showcased his skills in the ring.
Throughout his career, Cooper has been involved in various controversies, including charges of burglary in 2009 and an incident where he was accused of deliberately kneeing Richie McCaw in the face during a Tri Nations test match in 2011. He also faced fines and a suspended ban in 2012 for making critical comments about the Wallabies' set-up on social media.
Cooper has been in high-profile relationships and has connections to other notable rugby players. He is the cousin of Scotland international Sean Maitland and has previously dated Stephanie Rice and Laura Dundovic.
Cooper has also faced challenges regarding his citizenship, initially not being an Australian citizen and experiencing difficulties in obtaining citizenship despite living in the country since the age of thirteen. However, he was granted Australian citizenship in 2022.
|2017 - present
|2019 - present
|Anglican Church Grammar School
|2005 - 2006
|2016 - 2016
|2015 - 2016
|2017 - 2017
|2019 - 2019
|2008 - 2023