Rugby union player Quade Cooper says Australia has repeatedly denied him citizenship — despite representing the country 70 times as a member of the national team.
Born in Auckland, New Zealand, Cooper moved to Australia with his family aged 13 but still holds New Zealand citizenship, according to CNN affiliate Seven News. The 33-year-old represented Australia as a member of the Wallabies between 2008 and 2017, including at two World Cups. Cooper posted on Twitter about his rejected application on Tuesday, alongside a photo of the letter he received from the Australian government’s Department of Home Affairs.
“Awkward moment @ausgov refuse your citizenship applications (again)!” Cooper tweeted. “Wearing the green and gold 70 times apparently is not enough these days.” The letter from the government says he had not provided evidence to satisfy the special residency requirements, which refers to “persons engaging in activities of benefit to Australia” and “persons engaged in particular kinds of work requiring regular travel outside of Australia.” A spokesperson from the Department of Home Affairs said they do not comment on individual cases, but added that rugby union “is not listed in the legislative instrument as an eligible activity or kind of work for the purposes of the special residence requirement.”