Sevens dream over for Cooper

Date published: May 5 2016

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The Australian Sevens program has announced Quade Cooper will not be considered for the final two rounds of the World Series or Rio 2016.

Cooper represented the side in Las Vegas and Vancouver during the 2015/16 World Rugby Sevens Series but will not return to the squad.

"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," said Australian Sevens head coach Andy Friend.

"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."

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. The squad for the Paris Sevens will be announced on Friday.

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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