Quade Cooper has opened up about the continued exploration of his heritage and expressed a desire to one day play for the New Zealand Maori.
“Sometimes I didn’t feel worthy of being Maori,” Cooper said. “Living in Australia you sort of … not forget but it’s not right on your doorstep.”
“But I think being Maori, that’s something that’s inside you.”
Cooper was born in Auckland and moved from Tokoroa to Queensland at the age of 13.
“A lot of times people criticise you because I have played for Australia and things like that. And sometimes I have felt, ‘OK, that’s a bit true’ because I don’t necessarily know enough about my family or my heritage or what I’d like to know,” he continued.
“I’ve been trying to learn a little bit more and try and get a bit more knowledge on my roots, I think it’s all a journey.
“If I was ever to play for the Maori one day, that would be another step in that journey.”
Cooper has been capped for Australia 70 times, and won a Super Rugby title with the Reds in 2011.