Quade Cooper misses Australia squad for Sydney 7s
SYDNEY (AP) Wallabies star Quade Cooper has been left out of Australia's squad for the Sydney leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series, denting his chances of playing at this year's Rio de Janiero Olympics.
Cooper flew to Australia from France, where he plays for the Toulon club, to join the Australian squad preparing for this weekend's inaugural Sydney tournament, in the hope of pressing his Olympics selection claims.
Despite that long-distance effort he has been omitted from the 12-man squad announced Thursday by Australia coach Andy Friend.
''Due to circumstances which were beyond Quade's control and our control, he just couldn't get enough work in this week with the team,'' Friend said.
He said Cooper will be given a chance to play for Australia later in the World Series. The Sydney tournament is the fourth of eight legs of the world series which is the proving ground for players hoping to represent their nations in the first Olympics sevens tournament.
''There is no doubt in my mind that he will be a tremendous addition to the squad as we build toward Rio,'' Friend said. ''Quade is going to get his opportunities during the series and we are really excited to have him here in our group and with us throughout this preparation.
''He'll spend the weekend embedded with the squad as well. That contact is a really important part of his learning process in a different version of the game.''