Rugby: Stop booing Quade, Hansen says

By Daniel Richardson

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says Quade Cooper isn't a bad bloke. Photo / Getty
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says Quade Cooper isn't a bad bloke. Photo / Getty

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen doesn't boo Quade Cooper and he doesn't see why the New Zealand rugby public continues to do so.

Cooper has come in for special attention from New Zealand crowds in the past couple of seasons after some cheap shots on All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw, with the Wallabies playmaker embracing the negativity during the 2011 World Cup.

"It doesn't bother me at all,'' Cooper said during the tournament. "I don't mind being public enemy No 1 and I don't mind being the No 1 fan here so it's going to come with the territory.''

But Hansen said today the time has come for people to find something new to worry about.

"Two things, firstly we are probably all over it. Secondly, he probably brought it all on himself,'' Hansen said.

"I don't boo him and I'll continue not to boo him. I think he's a good player and not a bad bloke either when you have a quiet chat to him.

"But it probably would be good if we all got over it.''

Cooper copped a heated reception in Christchurch when the Crusaders beat the Reds in the Super Rugby playoffs in July and the same negativity continued in Sydney on Saturday when he was booed by sections of the crowd as the All Blacks beat Australia 47-29.

Cooper played from the bench on the weekend after being recalled to the Australian side by new coach Ewen McKenzie.

All Blacks wing Julian Savea said he didn't agree with throwing such vitriol at one man.

"Nah, it's not [good]. If someone was booing me all the time I know it would be pretty tough. I don't know what else to say on that, but I guess it's tough on [him].''

The All Blacks meet Australia in the second Bledisloe Cup test in Wellington on Saturday.

- APNZ

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