Cooper cleared for Vancouver Sevens

Cooper cleared for Vancouver Sevens

Quade Cooper has retained his spot in Australia’s in-form team for the inaugural Vancouver Sevens this weekend.

Coach Andy Friend has recalled playmaker Lewis Holland and experienced schemer James Stannard among five changes to his 12-man line-up following the Thunderbolts’ charge to the final in Las Vegas on Monday.

Cooper, who made a successful World Series debut in the United States, has been granted permission by his French Top 14 club side Toulon to play at the sold-out BC Place Stadium.

Exciting young loose forward Conor Mitchell will make his Australian debut after impressing in last year’s National Rugby Championship for Queensland Country.

Tom Lucas (knee) and Pat McCutcheon (hamstring) join an injury list that includes Nick Malouf (knee), Pama Fou (shoulder), Simon Kennewell (ankle), Sam Figg (virus) and Tom Cusack (wrist).

“The team performed well last weekend (in Vegas) but this series doesn’t wait around and as a squad we have to look forward,” Friend said.

“We want to be playing for World Series points at the top end of the table and in order to do so we need to consistently qualify for cup semi-finals, cup finals and ultimately win cup finals.

“We’ve decided to freshen things up for Vancouver.”

Sitting fourth in the overall standings after five rounds, Australia have been drawn in Pool B for the Canada Sevens alongside Russia, hosts Canada and Wales.

Australian Sevens squad: Henry Hutchison, Tom Kingston, Sam Myers, Lewis Holland, James Stannard, Con Foley, Boyd Killingworth, Stephan Van Der Walt, John Porch, Allan Faalavaau, Quade Cooper, Conor Mitchell.

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