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Quade Cooper's Olympic dream over, will not be considered for Rio Games

5th May, 2016
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Former Wallabies and Reds flyhalf, and current Toulon playmaker Quade Cooper has been ruled out of the Olympic Games by Australian rugby.

The mercurial player, who has played in two Sevens tournaments for Australia to date, will not take a spot in the squad, with Australian Sevens coach Andy Friend saying that the team hasn’t had enough time to work with Cooper in the lead-up to Rio.

With a full squad training every day at Narrabeen, it would always have been the case that if Cooper had been selected, someone had to miss out, and on this occasion it appears it is Cooper who won’t be getting the call and the plane ticket.

Cooper was his usual mixed bag in his two tournaments in Canada and the USA, having moments of sheer brilliance and some more forgettable ones.

But if fans were excited at the prospect of seeing Cooper turn out for Australia, the dream, unfortunately, is over.

The full statement from Australian Rugby on this matter is as follows:

The Australian Sevens program today announced Quade Cooper will not be considered for selection for the final two rounds of the 2015-16 HSBC Sevens World Series or the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Australian Sevens Head Coach Andy Friend said: “There’s no doubt Quade is a quality player, but put simply, we just haven’t had the opportunity to work with him as much as we would have liked over the past five months. Each day I have a group of 20-plus players working on different structures and patterns of play and I don’t think we would have got the very best out of Quade had we just thrown him into a tournament with limited preparation – particularly for an event as momentous as the Olympics.

“As many players have found out throughout this season’s World Series, it is no easy task to transition from fifteens to the Sevens form of the game.

“Although we are still a few months out from the Games, I think it offers the fairest outcome for everyone by making the call now. Quade can channel his energies into Toulon while we can enter the next phase of our preparations for Rio knowing the direction we want to take.

“I have complete faith in the players we currently have in the Sevens program and their ability to perform on the big stage. We have two big tournaments coming up in the next couple of weeks in Paris and London and I’m confident we have given ourselves the best possible chance to perform in those events.”

Quade Cooper represented the national side in Las Vegas and Vancouver during the 2015-16 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

The Australian Sevens side travel to Europe on Friday ahead of the ninth leg of the 2015-16 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Paris which kicks off next Saturday morning (AEST). The squad for the Paris Sevens will be announced on Friday at 8am AEST.

Australia currently sits fourth in the World Series standings, 20 points adrift of third-placed New Zealand and ahead of fifth-placed USA by the same margin.

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