Quade Cooper backs a combined Anzac team

JIM MORTON
Last updated 15:13 09/04/2014
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UP FOR TEST: Quade Cooper my yet get the chance to play alongside some test stars from the land of his birth, New Zealand.

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It's a long-shot in a World Cup year but Quade Cooper says rugby's biggest stars would be drawn to playing an Anzacs clash to commemorate the Gallipoli conflict.

Moves have started on both sides of the Tasman to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the shared Gallipoli campaign by joining forces against a Rest of the World XV next year.

While there's no logical window in a high-stakes calendar for the potential blockbuster, Wallabies playmaker Cooper says players would have little hesitation putting their hands up for the worthy concept.

"The idea of that would be a great way to celebrate the Anzacs and what that has done for us as a nation and as people being able to live the lives we do today," the Kiwi-born Queensland five-eighth said.

"Rugby is something that we love to do ... if that concept was put forward I'm sure guys would find some time to play in a game like that.

"Just to give back to people who gave their lives for all of us."

There is plenty of work to be done if a noble pipedream can become a reality, with Queensland Sports Minister Steve Dickson admitting a push from New Zealand's Consul-General still meant it was a 66-1 shot.

The biggest problem is the fact rugby's showpiece tournament will be held in September and October in England next year and four years of planning goes into each World Cup.

Not only would the Australian and New Zealand Rugby Unions be reluctant to risk their top players before the tournament, getting the best rivals from around the world would be near impossible.

Cooper felt the chances of Wallabies combining with All Blacks, like they did in 1989 against the British Lions, would be higher if the match was held after the World Cup.

"World Cups have got to come first," he said. "Those are things that only come up once every four years.

"The guys lucky enough to get the opportunity won't want anything to come between that but the concept is a great one."

Although Cooper would have a tough task to beat Dan Carter and Aaron Cruden to the Anzac No.10 jersey, he certainly liked the though of wearing the same colours as arch-rival Richie McCaw.

"As a kid growing up he was the biggest icon in world record and to step on the field with him rather than against him would be a great opportunity," he said.

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