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Thread: Cooper's Olympic Dream Crushed

  1. #1
    Senior Player Herbasimplex's Avatar
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    Apr 2013
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    Cooper's Olympic Dream Crushed

    QUADE Cooper’s dream of representing Australia at the Rio Olympics has been crushed as sevens coach Andy Friend moves on from the mercurial playmaker.

    Friend dropped a bombshell on Thursday with the news that Cooper would not be considered for the remaining two world series tournaments or the Olympics.

    Cooper, who has played 58 Tests for the Wallabies, made his sevens debut in Las Vegas this year and also played the following weekend in Vancouver.

    He had mixed success in the new format and his time learning the ropes was limited by his contract with French mega-club Toulon.

    The ARU did not seek Cooper’s release from Toulon for the upcoming tournaments in Paris and London.

    “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 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.”

    Cooper was not quoted in the ARU press release but has previously spoken of his excitement at the prospect of becoming an Olympian.

    “The pinnacle in rugby has always been the World Cup,” Cooper told in January.

    “But the pinnacle in sport is the Olympics and now that this is a possibility — not only for myself, but for kids and athletes all over the world — it’s very exciting.

    “You always dream about the Olympics and teams like the Dream Team, rubbing shoulders with some of these guys — you just get a little bit overwhelmed and think ‘man, this could be me in six months.’

    “It was a no brainer to put my hand up."

    Cooper’s performances in the sevens jersey were no different to his Wallabies career — rocks and diamonds.

    He went from hero to villain in the semi-final in Las Vegas — winning his team a penalty try then copping a yellow card for a high tackle.

    In the final, Cooper’s sevens inexperience was evident when he lost the ball near the tryline as Fiji then raced 100m to score the matchwinning try.

    In Vancouver, Cooper was again a source of excitement and frustration in equal measures.

    There are still two other Wallabies trying to press their Olympic claims — Nick Cummins and Henry Speight.

    With Cooper no longer in the picture for Rio, Lewis Holland is all but assured of a place in the squad.

    It also leaves Josh Holmes and John Porch as the likely frontrunners to be his deputy in the playmaking position after Friend previously indicated he would take two to Rio.

    Cameron Clark is another option in the playmaking position, but it’s likely Friend will want the sevens specialist to feature in the centres.

    The Paris Sevens kicks off on May 14 (AEST).

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  2. #2
    Immortal Contributor jono's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
    Dry July! TWF Contributor! MO-vember Donator The Bronze Star of Faith
    the best decision for the team.
    QC didn't set the world on fire & just hasn't had enough time in the setup. Plus to waltz in and take someone's spot after 2 tournaments would be absolute bullshit.

    They should go to the guys who have been in there working full time. I don't think even Cummins should get a spot at the expense of someone else.

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