Quade Cooper won’t play for Australia’s sevens team at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro after being dropped
The fly-half, who has played 58 tests in rugby union since 2008, was left out of the final two IRB World Series 7s tournaments in Paris and London this month
Andy Friend said in a Rugby Australia statement Thursday that “we just haven’t had the opportunity to work with him (Cooper) as much as we would have liked over the past five months.”
Wallabies star Quade Cooper has been ruled out of competing with the Australian Sevens team in the Olympic Games in Rio in August.
Cooper represented the national side in Las Vegas and Vancouver during the World Series.
However, he has also had problems getting time of from his French club, Toulon, to play more regularly on the Sevens circuit.
“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,” Australian Sevens coach Andy Friend said.
“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 the 15-a-side code 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 World Series in Paris, which kicks off next Saturday .