Hansen calls for fans to 'get over' Quade
August 21, 2013
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen wants the second Bledisloe Test to be a turning point © Getty Images
Quade Cooper's past misdeeds are still resonating with New Zealand rugby supporters, says All Blacks coach Steve Hansen. But enough's enough - Hansen wants the booing to stop.
Cooper has been the subject of vitriol from New Zealand crowds for the past two years, most recently in last Saturday's first Bledisloe Cup Test in Sydney. After replacing fly-half Matt Toomua for the final quarter, Cooper was greeted with derision on every touch from the Kiwi contingent in the crowd.
His arch-villain status began when he kneed All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw in a 2011 Test, and was amplified during that year's IRB World Cup.
McCaw fanned the flames in his autobiography last year, saying "players like Quade get sorted. Sooner or later they get their beans".
Hansen says the second Test in Wellington on Saturday, which falls nearly two years to the day after the kneeing incident, should mark a turning point.
"He's brought it on himself but probably it would be good if we all got over it," Hansen said. "I don't boo him and I'll continue not to boo him. I think he's a good player, I think he's not a bad bloke either when you have a quiet chat to him."
Hansen echoed the thoughts of Wallabies flanker Michael Hooper, who said the booing during Australia's 47-29 loss on Saturday was "below the belt".
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