A match-winning kick for the Wallabies against the Springboks over the weekend appears to have landed kiwi-born Quade Cooper a personal victory as well.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports Australia’s Immigration minister Alex Hawke is set to grant Cooper Australian citizenship as early as today.
The 33-year-old first requested Australian citizenship six years ago, but in July tweeted his fourth citizenship application rejection by the Australian Department of Home Affairs.
Cooper was born in Tokoroa but moved to Australia at 13 years old and has since played more than 70 tests for the Wallabies.
"Awkward moment @ausgov refuse your citizenship applications (again)😂. Wearing the green and gold 70 times apparently is not enough these days. Cheers Shannon," he wrote.
Cooper posted a redacted image of his rejection notice in which it states he failed to provide evidence of "engaging in activities of benefit to Australia".
The Home Affairs Department cited Cooper’s presence in Japan over the past few seasons as grounds for his rejection.
Applicants must not have been overseas for 12 months in the four-year period prior to applying.
This weekend was Cooper’s first outing for the Wallabies since 2017. He scored 23 of Australia's 28 points, landing the 28-26 defeat of the World Champions.
The win is a welcome reprieve for the Aussies having been demolished by the All Blacks in the final of the Bledisloe tests in Western Australia last week.
Cooper’s plight had been taken on by top-rating Australian talkback shock jock and former Wallabies coach Alan Jones, as well as the opposition Labor party’s deputy senate leader Kristina Keneally.
“What an extraordinary performance,” Keneally told the Herald. “At the last moment of the game, with everything on the line and with the toughest kick, he took on the responsibility and got the job done for his country and for his mates.
“I wrote to the minister six weeks ago,” Keneally added. “I’ve put several options to the government as to how Quade’s citizenship can be resolved. After last night’s performance, all of Australia has one question for Alex Hawke: Why the bloody hell isn’t Quade Cooper an Australian citizen already?”
The Herald says Minister Hawke is expected to make a minor regulation change to the ‘Distinguished Talent visas’ programme which will not only rubber stamp Cooper’s citizenship but also secure citizenship for his long-time halves partner of Papua New Guinean descent, Will Genia.
Cooper and Hawke are yet to comment.