x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Quade Cooper not worried about Richie McCaw's backlash

McCaw was angered by an incident in last year's Test in Hong Kong in which Cooper shoved McCaw's head after the Wallabies got the match-winning try.

Quade Cooper, the Australia fly-half, has vowed to continue his attacking brand of rugby in Saturday's Tri Nations match against New Zealand, despite expectation of some extra attention from the All Blacks captain Richie McCaw.

McCaw was angered by an incident in last year's Test in Hong Kong in which Cooper shoved McCaw's head after the Wallabies got the match-winning try.

McCaw took every chance during the Super Rugby season to pay back the Queensland Reds playmaker for his perceived lack of respect.

But Cooper had the last laugh when the Reds beat McCaw's Canterbury Crusaders 18-13 in the Super 15 final.

Training with the Wallabies squad yesterday ahead of the Bledisloe Cup opener, Cooper said he hoped the matter was over, but was ready for more attention. "He's already said 'hello' to me a few times this year in the Super 15 so there's no real reason to re-acquaint there," he said.

"It's out on the rugby field and there's a lot of things that are going to go on, and there's 14 other blokes to worry about out on that field, so I won't be concentrating on one bloke."

Australia opened their international season with an upset loss to Samoa in Sydney on July 17, before rebounding to beat a below-strength South Africa 39-20 the following weekend in the opening match of the tournament.

New Zealand thrashed South Africa 40-7 last weekend and are set to be close to full strength for Saturday's match at Eden Park, where the All Blacks have not lost a Test in 17 years.