Adam Ashley-Cooper is excited about his career switch to assistant coach on a two-year deal after playing a major role in the Giltinis’ Championship triumph at outside centre.
Adam Ashley-Cooper is excited about his career switch to assistant coach on a two-year deal after playing a major role in the Giltinis’ Championship triumph at outside centre. He called time on his decorated playing career after the MLR title win. He has picked up plenty of tricks and ideas over a long playing career but the emphasis on skill work and extras will not change as he helps sharpen the 2022 Giltinis’ backline and game plans.
Adam Ashley-Cooper was one of Australia’s longest-serving players, among just 11 Wallabies centurions and one of just two Wallabies in four World Cup campaigns. Born in Sydney, he was raised on NSW’s central coast but did not play his first rugby game until he was 15. He made his first grade debut as an 18-year-old for Sydney’s Northern Suburbs in the Shute Shield.
Less than two years later, in 2004, he signed a development contract with the Brumbies. Ashley-Cooper had a short stint on the Sevens World Series and an Australian U21 World Championship berth as he continued to develop. In 2005, he made his Super Rugby debut and quickly moved into Test calculations.
His Test debut came as somewhat of a surprise, called into the match during the warm up after Elton Flatley’s late withdrawal. The utility has gone on to have a decorated career in both Super Rugby and Test rugby with the Brumbies, Waratahs and Wallabies, part of two Super Rugby-winning squads and featuring in the 2015 Rugby World Cup final.
Ashley-Cooper’s international days looked numbered after the 2015 Rugby World Cup, when he inked a deal with French side Bordeaux. He played in the 2016 Bledisloe series but looked set to retire from Test rugby after that. Leaving Bordeaux in 2017, he moved to Japanese side Kobe and that looked like where he would finish his professional career. Instead, the 34-year-old made a remarkable comeback to the international scene in 2018 and worked his way into the 2019 Rugby World Cup squad, equalling Gregan’s mark of a fourth consecutive tournament appearance.