Sevens

Cooper fights for spot in Sevens side

Quade Cooper (Gallo Images)
Quade Cooper (Gallo Images)

Sydney - Star flyhalf Quade Cooper was told he has to earn a place on Australia's Olympic team after flying in from France ahead of the Sydney Sevens world series rugby at the weekend.

New sevens coach Andy Friend on Wednesday laid it on the line for Cooper who moved to top European team Toulon after a disappointing World Cup.

"Listen, Quade's got to earn the right too," Friend told reporters at training, urging respect for long-term sevens players.

"Just because it's Quade Cooper doesn't mean he gets a walk-in start.

"So he's got to come in and add value to this team."

Friend admits Australia need Cooper's play-making skills but he wants real commitment from the 27-year-old who arrived in Sydney on Tuesday night.

Cooper offered a humble response as he takes his first steps towards fulfilling his ambition of playing at the Olympic Games in Rio.

"It's like anything, I'm here to train, here to try and earn a spot and you know whether I'm in the team or what, I'm here for a purpose to train and try and get better," he said.

"My hopes are to play as much as possible, but you know that's yet to be seen."

Toulon have reportedly agreed to free Cooper for three World series tournaments to help him adapt to the demands of the game.

Cooper is not the only Wallaby 15-a-side player hoping to go to the Olympic with winger Henry Speight also battling to make the squad.

Australia are looking for a sevens medal in Rio but finished fifth in last week's world sevens in New Zealand.

The Thunderbolts lie seventh in the overall standings led by South Africa after three rounds of the 10-leg tournament.

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