Quade Cooper is officially an Australian citizen, at long last.

The Wallabies star revealed on his social media that he passed the citizenship test on Friday afternoon, bringing to an end a decades-long quest to become a recognised Australian.

“Crazy day, not going to lie,” Cooper wrote.

“I was super nervous as there were some difficult questions on the citizenship test and I felt that if I failed, everyone’s efforts may have been for nothing.”

Cooper, who is currently in Japan playing for Hanazono Kintetsu Liners, took the train to Tokyo to take – and pass – the test.

The New Zealand-born 33-year old’s citizenship was made possible by the federal government relaxing the criteria for ‘the most talented prospective Australians’ to pass the test in September.

Previously, Cooper’s touring schedule and stints with overseas clubs had made it impossibly to satisfy the criteria, which required applicants to have lived in Australia for the past four years and not been absent for more than 12 months, or been overseas for greater than 90 days during the application year.

However, immigration minister Alex Hawke implemented the rule change a few months ago, saying: “Exceptional people must not be prevented from becoming Australians because of the unique demands of the very work they do that makes them exceptional.”

“In truth, the law change itself is the victory,” Cooper wrote in an Instagram post.

‘Exceptional’ certainly describes Cooper, the veteran taking his Wallabies caps to 75 with an outstanding 2021, including a pair of sensational performances in back-to-back upset wins over the Springboks.

Quade Cooper of the Wallabies

(Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

His attention now turns to securing citizenship for close friend and fellow Wallaby Joe Tomane. The 17-Test player faced a similar struggle to Cooper for citizenship, which, according to Cooper, forced him to quarantine in New Zealand rather than his home country earlier this year.

“Hopefully he will be the next person to benefit from this law change and be able to fly home to his family and friends soon,” Cooper wrote.

Cooper was born in Auckland but moved to Australia at the age of 13. Twenty years on, his wait for citizenship is finally over.





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