Colin Cooper (rugby union)

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Colin Cooper
Full name Colin Gary Cooper
Date of birth (1959-02-22) 22 February 1959 (age 58)
School Waitara High School
Rugby union career
Position(s) Lock, Flanker, Number 8
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
1979–87 Taranaki 101 (96)
Correct as of 26 March 2015
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1982–83 New Zealand Māori 3 (0)
Correct as of 26 March 2015
Teams coached
Years Team
1999–02, 10–17
Taranaki (assistant)
New Zealand under-21
Crusaders (assistant)
Junior All Blacks
Māori All Blacks
Correct as of 17 August 2013

Colin Gary Cooper (born 22 February 1959) is a rugby union coach. He is currently head coach of Taranaki's provincial side in New Zealand. He has previously been the head coach of Super Rugby side, the Hurricanes. In his playing days, Cooper was also loose forward for the Taranaki province.


Eight years after his playing career ended with retirement at Taranaki, Cooper was back with Taranaki, working as assistant coach from 1995. He went on to fulfil the same role for Taranaki in the 1997 and 1998 seasons, and was then appointed Taranaki head coach in 1999 after Jed Rowlands was appointed to succeed Graham Henry at the Auckland Blues. Cooper remained as head coach from 1999 to 2002. In 2001 he guided the New Zealand Colts side for a season and in 2002 was the assistant coach at the Crusaders. Following the dismissal of Graham Mourie as Hurricanes coach Cooper was appointed to take over the franchise and came to prominence by guiding them to the semi-finals in two of his three seasons in charge. His greatest achievement to date has been taking the side to the 2006 Final, where they were defeated by 19–12. He signed an extension to his contract in 2007, which took him through until 2009. He latter stepped down as Hurricanes coach following the 2010 Super 14 season. In 2005 he was appointed to coach one of the All Blacks trial teams and the Junior All Blacks alongside Jamie Joseph. Cooper then returned to Taranaki as head coach in 2010. He instantly achieved success with the province after winning the Ranfurly Shield in 2011 from Southland and defending the shield for 7 defences. Copper also took the side to the 2011 and 2012 ITM Cup semi-finals and won the 2014 ITM Cup Premiership.

On 23 July 2013, New Zealand Rugby announced Colin Cooper as the new head coach of the Maori All Blacks.


Cooper's honours as assistant and head coach.

New Zealand under-21[edit]

Under 21 Rugby World Championship

  • Winner: 2001


Super Rugby

  • Winner: 2002


Super Rugby

  • Runner-up: 2006
  • Semi-finalist: 2003, 2005, 2008, 2009

Junior All Blacks[edit]

Pacific Nations Cup

  • Winner: 2006, 2007


National Provincial Championship First Division

  • Semi-finalist: 1998, 2000

National Provincial Championship Second Division

  • Winner: 1995

Ranfurly Shield

  • Winner: 1996 (1 defense), 2011–12 (7 defenses)

ITM Cup Premiership

  • Winner: 2014
  • Semi-finalist: 2011, 2012, 2015

External links[edit]