It was reported earlier that Andy Friend has left Quade Cooper out of his squad for Paris and London, this coming weekend and the weekend after that. Cooper was released for these tournaments by his club Toulon, but will now not feature.
Friend said Cooper has simply not had enough time with the squad or the squad with him.
Cooper himself blames it on procedural issues. Cooper was born in Auckland, New Zealand, and moved across the Tasman age 13. He qualified for the Wallabies on residence, but he still holds a New Zealand passport. According to him he would have to spend 90 days in Australia now to qualify for citizenship before the Olympics.
While that is possible, it is unlikely he gets his citizenship before the trials for the Australian Olympic team.
But the story Cooper is giving seems unlikely. Maybe the Australian Olympic Comity does have such rules, but it is not an international rule. After all, Joseva Nayacavou of Scotland would be considered for Team GB, while he does not have UK citizenship. The Fijian plays for Scotland on residency, but he is also in the situation that he is a serving member of the 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland.
What Friend says is happening is much more likely. Cooper made the decision to play for Toulon instead of being available for Sevens and without any previous experience it was always unlikely he could pass muster.
Unexperienced New Zealand centre Sonny Bill Williams spent every waking moment since the World Cup focusing on Sevens to learn the game and returning star Nick Cummins, who has been training with the squad for a few months now, was honest about the shape he is in not being up to scratch.
However, Cummins has played Sevens for Australia at a high level before and is familiar with a number of the players in the squad. With his attitude towards the game and towards life, he is a potentially huge addition to the squad.
And in spite of a huge number of injuries in the Australian World Series squad, the return of The Honeybadger to Sevens and the return of Jesse Parahi from his NRL adventure, seems to make up for a lot of that. Their presence and their previous experience means Quade Cooper’s half-arsed efforts are no longer needed.
Quade Cooper coming up with an excuse instead of accepting Friend’s verdict shows how poor his attitude actually is, and it might be that attitude that has landed him in trouble with Mourad Boudjellal, Toulon’s owner. It is also the attitude that has New Zealanders to revile him more than any New Zealander who has played for their cross-Tasman rivals. And it will no doubt have contributed to Friend’s decision to drop him.
In the run up to the Olympics, there is no place for that. There simply is no time to accommodate the vanity of a player who still thinks Sevens is something 15s players do for fun in the summer time, rather than one of the toughest sports in the world at the moment.
This is the full Australian squad for the Paris Sevens:
1. Henry Hutchison
3. Sam Myers
4. Josh Holmes
5. James Stannard
6. Con Foley. Club
7. Cameron Clark
8. Jesse Parahi
9. Ed Jenkins
11. Nick Cummins
12. Pat McCutcheon
Heineken Rugby Club celebrates and rewards real supporters who make the game what it is.
Read More About: Andy Friend, australia rugby, Australia sevens, honey badger, honeybadger, Jesse Parahi, Mourad Boudjellal, nick cummins, nick the honey badger cummins, nrl, Olympic games, olympic rugby, Olympic Sevens, paris sevens, quade cooper, Quade Cooper Toulon, rio olympics, Sonny Bill Williams, Toulon, toulon rugby, Wests Tigers