QBE Internationals: Quade Cooper thrilled to be named Australia vice-captain
Last Updated: October 31, 2013 11:15pm
Quade Cooper: Thrilled to be named vice-captain for Saturday's Cook Cup clash
Australia fly-half Quade Cooper admitted he was speechless after being appointed vice-captain for Saturday's clash with England.
Cooper was overlooked for last summer's British and Irish Lions series, having been axed by former coach Robbie Deans in 2012 after branding the national set-up "toxic".
However, Cooper was given a second chance by Dean's replacement, Ewen McKenzie, and the 25-year-old playmaker has grabbed it with both hands.
"I was a bit speechless (to be named vice-captain), you don't really know what to say and you just accept it," he said.
"There was a great deal of happiness, but at the same time you had to move on and get into training.
"To get the vice-captaincy next to your name is something I see as being pretty special."
Once known as one of the 'Three Amigos' alongside Kurtley Beale and James O'Connor - the trio each have a history of off-field misdemeanors - Cooper is now viewed as a senior player.
"When I was out of the team for a long period I looked at the things that are most important in my life and where rugby sat in that," said Cooper.
"Away from the game how you act as a person, how you act as a family man, those things roll into how you act as a player in and around the team.
"The more you can contribute, the more that seems to rub off on your team-mates and it sends a good perception of you out to the wider public as well.
"It's something that's an ongoing process. You've got to continue to work at that and not nod off and say, 'I've made it this far and that's enough'."
Watch England take on Australia this Saturday. Coverage starts on Sky 3D and Sky Sports 2 from 1.30pm.