Foley concedes Olympic Sevens may be out

Wallaby five-eighth Bernard Foley concedes it may not be possible for him to play sevens for Australia at the 2016 Olympics.

Foley, who played in Australia’s 2010 Commonwealth Games silver medal sevens team, said he would love to play in another big sevens tournament.

However, Australian Rugby Union boss Bill Pulver last week indicated players would have to make a choice between playing sevens rugby or Super Rugby and Test rugby next year ahead of a potential Rio Olympic campaign.

It is hard to see Foley relinquishing his hard-earned Wallabies spot voluntarily, or coach Michael Cheika condoning it.

“I’ve expressed how much I enjoy a big sevens game and it’s a long time ago now (since I played one),” Foley said on Monday.

“I’d really love to do something back in the sevens, but in saying that I don’t know if logistically it’s going to be possible or commitment-wise.”

Foley said the recent contract concessions by the Australian Rugby Union put the Wallabies in good stead to regain former glories.

The NSW Waratahs playmaker recently became the first of what will be a very small group of players to sign a “flexible contract”.

It allows him to play two seasons in Japan over the next three years, while also playing for the NSW Waratahs and remaining eligible to represent Australia.

Last week, the ARU announced another initiative aimed at swelling the pool of available talent, by revealing overseas-based players who had played professionally at home for seven years and accumulated 60 Test caps would be eligible for Wallabies selection.

“For Australian rugby I think it’s in really good stead,” Foley said.

“The next couple of years we should be really challenging to regain the form that we had back in the past.”

Foley doesn’t view himself as a pioneer or trailblazer despite being the first Australian to sign a flexible contract.

“I don’t think it’s that exciting or special, it’s not like (former NBA superstar Michael) Jordan going to baseball or anything like that,” Foley quipped.

“I’m really excited by the next couple of years and the challenges it’s going to throw up.

“It’s going to keep me very busy and I’m really looking forward to that.”

His immediate priority is helping the Waratahs beat the Brumbies in Friday’s Super Rugby blockbuster in Canberra.

The Brumbies hold a four-point lead over NSW at the top of the Australian conference, but the defending champions have a game in hand.

NSW vanquished the Brumbies 28-13 in Sydney last month, but haven’t defeated them in the national capital since 2011.

“We haven’t won down in Canberra for a long time, not in the (NSW coach) Michael Cheika era, so I suppose that adds a bit of extra spice,” Foley said.

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