HSBC Sevens World Series
Wallabies star Quade Cooper to make Sevens debut in Las Vegas
February 25, 2016
© Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Quade Cooper will get his first chance to push for a spot in Australia's rugby Sevens squad for the Rio Olympics after being named in the squad for the next leg of the world series in Las Vegas.

Cooper was confirmed in the 12-man squad on Friday after the Australian Rugby Union negotiated a release from his French club Toulon for the tournament to be played on March 4-6.

The 27-year-old was meant to make his debut in the Sydney leg earlier this month, but after flying out from France he was not selected as coach Andy Friend determined he hadn't had enough preparation time with his teammates.

The selection of Cooper is somewhat of a gamble given the 58-Test Wallabies five-eighth will be making his international Sevens debut in Las Vegas just five months away from rugby Sevens' Olympic debut and given his French Top 14 commitments, the Queenslander may only be available for two more legs of the world series.

Cooper is set to get plenty of opportunity in the playmaking role, especially given the team's stand-out in Sydney, Lewis Holland, wasn't included in the squad.

"We're delighted to welcome Quade into the fold for Las Vegas," said Friend. "Having had a few training sessions with the squad earlier this month... we'll be in a much better position to utilise his skill-set."

Ed Jenkins will skipper a side that includes the return of former Waratahs back-rower Pat McCutcheon.

Nick Malouf (knee), Pama Fou (shoulder), Tom Cusack (wrist) and Simon Kennewell (ankle) weren't considered due to injury.

Australia currently sit fourth in the series standings - behind joint leaders Fiji, South Africa and New Zealand - after being pipped by New Zealand in the dying seconds of the Sydney final.

Australia will face England, Scotland and Japan in their pool matches in Las Vegas.

Australian squad: Henry Hutchison, Tom Kingston, Sam Myers, Boyd Killingworth, Tom Lucas, Con Foley, Cameron Clark, Greg Jeloudev, Ed Jenkins, Allan Fa'alava'au, Quade Cooper, Pat McCutcheon.


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