Cooper earns Australian Super 14 gong
May 27, 2010
Quade Cooper has been recognised by the Australian media © Getty Images
Quade Cooper has been named Australian Super 14 player of the year in that country's end-of-season awards after his stellar performances at fly-half in the Queensland Reds' resurgent campaign.
Cooper brought a dynamic edge to the No.10 role as the Reds finished fifth on the ladder. He shone thanks to the superb service of scrum-half Will Genia, who finished one point behind Cooper in the voting.
James O'Connor took third place in the voting, conducted by Australian media after every Super 14 match involving an Australian side, after the young back dominated in the votes awarded to his struggling Western Force side.
"It's pretty special to be named as Player of the Series," Cooper said after receiving the award on Fox Sports. "This is an award that has been won by some great players. I know George Smith has featured a number of times so to be held in the same regard as him is something that means a lot. The award could have gone to any number of players.
"While I feel honoured to have been named, and I'm happy with the year I've had, it is as much a tribute to the work of our forwards and how they have gone this year. Without the platform they have provided, there is no way Will Genia, myself and the rest of our backline could have played the way we did."
Cooper was, as expected, named in Australia's 30-man squad for the June Tests on Wednesday, along with Robbie Deans' other options for the Wallabies' fly-half berth in Matt Giteau and Berrick Barnes. Cooper's award is the latest influencing factor that could see him get the green and gold No.10 jersey, particularly since Genia is the first-choice scrum-half when he returns to fitness.
The rookie of the year award went to Brumbies utility back Pat McCabe, who played every minute of the season in a number of roles. Waratahs coach Chris Hickey was named coach of the season, an automatic award for the boss of the highest-placed team, while Stu Dickinson received the top referee gong.
Cooper completed a great personal night by picking up the try of the season award for getting for starting and finishing an electric team effort in Round 2 against the Crusaders.
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