Quade Cooper 'excited' by Olympic shot as he signs with ARU Sevens

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Quade Cooper has joined the Australian Rugby Union's Sevens set-up as he bids to earn selection for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

The fly-half's club side Toulon will release him for the Sydney, Paris and London legs of the World Series and he will also be available in Sydney ahead of the Olympics.

Cooper -- who has won 58 caps for his country and was part of the squad that finished second at the 2015 Rugby World Cup -- had a clause inserted into his Toulon contract that made him available for Rio.

He said: "I'm passionate about Australian Rugby and to be given this opportunity to represent my country in a different form of the game is one which excites me. I'm looking forward to working with the players that are already part of the squad and hopefully I can add something to the group.

"As a rugby player growing up you never think you'll have the chance to play at an Olympics so I'll be doing everything I can to make the squad. The Olympics is a real opportunity to grow the game of Rugby in Australia and it would be a privilege to play my part in that.

"I would also like to thank Toulon and Mourad Boudjellal [Toulon president] for coming to an agreement with the ARU which will allow me to pursue this opportunity."

Head Coach Andy Friend added: "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.

"The key for us is the fact that Quade has a genuine desire to represent his country in the World Series and Rio 2016 Olympics. I believe we already have a talented squad and adding Quade to that mix will only help us as we look ahead to a busy 2016."