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Quade Cooper highlights Wallabies vs Springboks scores news Sonny Bill Williams

Quade Cooper paid an emotional tribute to Sonny Bill Williams on live television after kicking a clutch game-winner to seal a fairytale Wallabies comeback after four years in the Test wilderness.

The once divisive 33-year-old has followed a similar path to James O’Connor in winning over Wallabies fans with a much matured outlook upon return to the Test arena.

Cooper was a perfect eight from eight from the kicking tee and, crucially, didn’t overplay his hand as Australia shrugged off a Bledisloe Cup clean sweep to stun the world champion Springboks 28-26 on the Gold Coast.

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Quade’s clutch game winner

The win rekindles Australia’s Rugby Championship hopes but instead of pumping his own tyres post-match, Cooper deferred to close mate and former opponent Williams.

“I hate to put my brother in the studio on the spot there but I’m so grateful for him,” Cooper said on Nine and Stan Sport.

“When things went a bit pear shaped a few years ago, he was the first guy to reach out to me. I spent about two-three months with him, just living with him every day and just seeing what it takes to be a good strong man every day.

READ MORE: Wallabies comeback king sinks world champions

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Sonny Bill Williams and Quade Cooper. (Stan)

“You see him with his family, see him with his teammates, the dedication, the hard work that he puts into his day to day life.

“Not just when he turns up to footy training, every single day it’s about being a better man, being better for himself and his family and everything else.

“I love you brother and I appreciate everything bro.”

Sonny Bill Williams celebrates Quade Cooper’s winning kick. (Stan)

A clearly touched Williams responded first with humour.

“I love you too brother, I’m still waiting for the rent that my wife was expecting for that two months,” Williams said.

“No, so proud of you. That big moment, you just stepped up to the mark and said ‘that’s mine…’ I got really emotional when he nailed that kick because I know the hardship that Quade’s had to overcome in the last few years, culminating in this kick.”

Quade Cooper of the Wallabies reacts after kicking the winning penalty goal. (Getty)

Cooper last played for the Wallabies in 2017 and fell out with coaches Michael Cheika and Brad Thorn before moving to Japan.

His heroics will surely see him maintain his starting spot against South Africa on Saturday even with O’Connor available after a long-term injury.

Cooper described the decision making within the team after the Wallabies won a crucial late penalty with the goalposts in sight but far from a gimme.

Quade Cooper of the Wallabies reacts after kicking the winning penalty goal. (Getty)

“I looked up and I’d had a kick from a similar spot just before that,” Cooper said.

“I only just had the legs to get it over. I looked at it, had a little chat to myself and said ‘is this your ego saying you want to take the kick or what’s for the benefit of the team?’

“I looked over and had a little chat to Hodgey (Reece Hodge) as well.

Quade Cooper of the Wallabies is tackled during the Rugby Championship match. (Getty)

“He backed me. So when your peers are backing you you’ve got to back yourself as well.”

Somehow the calmest person at Cbus Super Stadium, Cooper was remarkably zen in reflecting on “one of the all-time Test matches that I’ve played in.”

“Footy is just a small part of my life,” Cooper said.

Quade Cooper of the Wallabies kicks during the Rugby Championship match. (Getty)

“This is just a small part of our life. An important part but it’s still a small part…

“When we put that into perspective, we’re going to walk off this field win, lose or draw, we might be a bit sore but it’s not going to be the end of the world.

“There’s so much more to life than just the result of a football game. And when you can understand that, that’s when you feel at peace with the game and with everything else around us.”

Wallabies punish 14 man Boks

Let’s not forget that the Auckland-born Cooper is not even an Australian citizen after having previous applications knocked back.

Surely, this is enough to get him over the line?

“Let’s hope so, fingers crossed,” he deadpanned.

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