Rugby World Cup 2011
Cooper shrugs off criticism
ESPNscrum Staff
October 12, 2011
Wallabies build up for crucial clash

Wallabies fly-half Quade Cooper has brushed aside criticism over his recent performances, and instead turned the pressure back on the All Blacks ahead of their World Cup semi-final at Eden Park.

Cooper has been the subject of much debate after Australia's victory over South Africa last weekend, leading many experts to question whether his is a team player. One such remark levelled at the 23-year-old came from former Wallabies winger David Campese. However, Cooper insists he has paid no attention to Campese's comments.

"Coming from a guy like that," Cooper smirked. "I tend to take the advice from my team-mates and my coaching staff that I have around me rather than outside influences. Cheers for the advice Campo but I've got a lot of guys around me here for support."

The Queensland Reds star instead believes the weight of expectation placed on the home side could work in Australia's favour as the All Blacks search for their first World Cup triumph since 1987.

"They're supposed to have won this World Cup the past three tournaments and this time is no different. The pressure is on them to win this competition on their home soil, so I'm sure they will be worrying about how they go about their game more so than about myself," said Cooper.

Meanwhile, Cooper said that whilst it has been impossible to ignore the chorus of boos heard whenever he touched the ball, the jeers were not the reason for his erratic form.

"It's always a packed stadium and you can hear noises in the crowd and, obviously, I know they are directed at me because of what's been written," he said.

"It's just part and parcel of the game and we're the closest enemy to the New Zealanders. So we're going to cop it a lot more than any other team.

"They can do whatever they want. I'm not going to try and control anybody else's life. I'm just going to do what I can to be the best that I can for this team," he said.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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