Quade Cooper has signed on to the national Sevens program but it’s been a long time coming, with a few murmurs out of ARU HQ that Cooper couldn’t get official clearance until he was actually eligible to be an Australian Olympian. With the nationality qualifications for international rugby being (much) looser than those for the Olympics, the NZ-born Cooper didn’t actually have all the documentation he needed to be eligible for Rio. Now he does, and rugby’s worst kept secret is out.
Certainly, there was plenty of hoopla around Cooper’s signing coming out of North Sydney this week. Administrators see Sevens as a potential big money earner to support the other rugby competitions; the stonking moolah brought in by the Big Bash League has not passed unnoticed.
Incoming Aussie 7s coach Andy Friend hit all the right notes in responding to the signing:
We are delighted that Quade has agreed to join the national Sevens program. He brings with him an x-factor that I feel could add an extra dimension to our squad.
WORLD SEVENS SCHEDULE
The Sevens World Series arrives in Wellington and Sydney over the next few weeks, with seats at the SFS already all but sold out. Who would have thought dressing up like a superhero and boozing on in the sun was popular with the harbour city’s upper crust? It’ll be like Randwick in February: messy, expensive, and super fun.
And over the next five months, perhaps as many as 22 players will get a chance to play in the different tournaments and prove their worth for Olympic selection. Quade fancies his chances of making the cut and best of luck to him.