I'm not bothered by my public image, says Australia's Quade Cooper
Australia fly-half Quade Cooper says he will not alter the way he plays the game in order to improve his public image.
The Kiwi-born 23-year-old has been the subject of more scrutiny than any other player at the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
Cooper, who has struggled for form throughout the tournament, had another rough match in Sunday's 20-6 semi-final loss to the All Blacks.
His error-riddled performance capped a miserable evening for the Wallabies as New Zealand blew them off Eden Park to book a final showdown with France next Sunday.
"From the minute I stepped off the plane to the minute that I get on the plane I'm sure everybody will have their opinions, and whatever that might be I'm not going to try and make any perception any different," Cooper said.
"I am who I am, I'm going to play the way that I play and whether you like it or not that's me."
"Everyone's entitled to their opinion, to say what they like, to write what they like and I'm not going to try and change anybody's perception or opinion."
"I'm in a very privileged position to be standing out there on that field and playing in front of what was a massive crowd ... and I'll never walk off the field with any regrets."
Asked the main lessons he has learned from his first World Cup, Cooper says he gained confidence from his experience.
"I think the first thing is the obvious one, everyone trying to get at me personally and I think I'm definitely going to be better off for it," he said.
"Everyone that came at me from all angles, whether it be media, the crowd and trying to make a big buzz out of it, I got used to it and I grew a lot of confidence out of it."
Cooper refused describe the criticism levelled at him as vindictive or spiteful.
"I'm not in a position to point fingers about that or have a cry about it mate, it's there, it's going to happen and it has happened," he said.
"For me it was just about getting on and doing the best that I could for my team and I feel that I did that."