Quade Cooper will not be going to the 2016 Rio Olympics, an Australian Sevens statement announced today. He will also not be considered for the final two rounds of the HSBC Sevens World Series.
Wallaby Cooper is one of a handful of fifteens stars who took up 7s with the aim of playing at the biggest sporting event in the world. He represented Australia at the Las Vegas and Vancouver 7s, but didn’t set the world alight, and ultimately hasn’t had enough time to prove himself.
“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,” explained 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.”
Australia are currently fourth in the World Series standings. The squad will travel to Europe on Friday ahead of the ninth leg of the series in Paris, kicking off on Saturday.
Coach Andy Friend explained in this video report