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Quade Cooper ruled out of contention for Rio Olympics
Martyn Thomas
May 5, 2016

© David Becker/Getty Images

Quade Cooper's Olympic dream is over after Australian Sevens head coach Andy Friend confirmed he would not be considered for selection.

Cooper's involvement in the final two Sevens World Series events had been in some doubt as his club side Toulon stalled over his release.

However, the decision has been taking out of their hands with Friend revealing the talented fly-half would not take part in the World Series tournaments in Paris and London, or the Games in Rio.

"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," 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 15s 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."

Cooper's struggles to transition to the shorter form of the game will come as a warning to other nations competing in Rio.

Fifteens stars Sonny Bill Williams (New Zealand) and Bryan Habana (South Africa) are still in contention to feature at the Games, while Great Britain coach Simon Amor will name his squad this month.

If Amor decides to call up any 15s players, they will have just four tournaments in which to acclimatise to the abbreviated format before departing for Brazil.

© Martyn Thomas