This story was first published on Monday August 27.
Former Wallabies first-five Quade Cooper has opened up on his early life struggles, saying that he lost his cultural identity after moving from Tokoroa to Australia in his youth.
Having been expelled by Reds coach Brad Thorn earlier this year, Cooper is currently plying his trade in Brisbane club rugby with Souths, his first ever club, looking to work his way back into Super Rugby reckoning.
Speaking to Marae's Jordan Vaha'akolo, Cooper spoke openly about the struggles of adapting to living in Australia, having relocated with his family as a teenager.
"Sometimes, I didn't really feel worthy of being Māori," he said.
"Living in Australia, you sort of not forget, but it's not right on your doorstep.
"But I think being Māori is something that's inside you.
"A lot of times people criticise (me), because I played for Australia, things like that.
"A lot of times I have felt it's a bit true, because I don't necessarily know enough about my family or my heritage, or what I'd like to know.
"I've been trying to learn a little bit more, trying (to) get a bit more knowledge on my roots and things like that.
"It's all a journey."
Cooper has played 70 Tests for the Wallabies, and over 100 matches for the Reds in Super Rugby, winning the title with the Queensland side in 2011.