Essendon players kept faithEssendon players kept faith Footballer chased and attacked by rivalsFootballer chased and attacked by rivals Surfer abandons ship as monster wave hitsSurfer abandons ship as monster wave hits
Most popular articles
$10,000 up for grabsSign-up for NRL, AFL
and Rugby tipping
Wide World of Sports TV partners
Wide World of SportsCatch up with Ken Sutcliffe and the team on Wide World of Sports.Footy ClassifiedOur award winning panel tell it how it really is in the AFL world.NRL Footy ShowFatty and the gang bring you an entertaining look at rugby league.AFL Footy ShowAustralia's favourite team takes you through the week in AFL.
Don't bag Quade: Jane tells NZ fans
Ben Horne
17:38 AEST Fri Aug 24 2012

New Zealand winger Cory Jane has issued an unexpected message to All Blacks fans - lay-off Wallabies star Quade Cooper at Eden Park on Saturday night.

The Australian five-eighth copped a barrage of abuse at last year's World Cup as the fallout for a series of perceived cheap shots on All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw.

Cooper's comeback to the Australian team this week after being left out of Test matches so far this year is sure to be met with delight at a sold-out Eden Park on Saturday night, with a 10th straight Bledisloe Cup at New Zealand's mercy.

However Jane, a try-scorer in last week's 27-19 All Blacks win in Sydney, has called on Blacks supporters to go easy on Cooper - who last year labelled himself New Zealand's public enemy No.1.

"I think sometimes the crowd probably needs to let it be," Jane told Wellington's Dominion Post newspaper, and said "whatever is done is done".

Jane also appeared to defend Cooper's controversial attacks on McCaw as being part of everyday rugby.

"You put in a bit of niggle, everyone does it, it's a bit of fun," continued Jane.

"It's not as though he has absolutely given Richie a hiding or anything like that."

Former Wallabies skipper Tony Shaw, who presented the Australian players with their jerseys at Friday's captain's run, says nothing will stop the fans unleashing on Cooper when he runs out.

"Yeah, they'll give it to him," said Shaw.

Cooper perhaps inadvertently added to the pressure that will greet him on Saturday, when he walked away from a media conference on Thursday after making a brief statement of just 26 words.

The 24-year-old struggled with the pressure in last year's World Cup, turning in a shocker in the semi-final loss to New Zealand, before ultimately rupturing his knee in the third-place playoff against Wales.