Wallabies star Isreal Folau has revealed he is considering making himself available to represent Australia in the rugby sevens event in the 2020 summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Folau, a former rugby league and Australian rules player who plays union for the Waratahs in Super Rugby, is considering another switch that may help him fulfil his wish of winning an Olympic medal.
The 29-year-old told Sydney’s Daily Telegraph that the opportunity to become an Olympian comes once in a lifetime.
“If I could take that opportunity, I’m sure it’d be something to cherish and remember for the rest of your life,” he told the newspaper. “There’s no doubt the experience would be unreal, I’d definitely want to put my hand up to see if that opportunity arose.”
Rugby returned to the Olympic fold in sevens format at the Rio Games in 2016, with Fiji beating Great Britain in the final for their first-ever Olympic medal of any colour. Olympic sports.
Should Folau make the change, he would need to force his way into Australia’s sevens squad for the 2019-20 HSBC World Series Sevens and then prove himself worthy of a place in the Olympic side.
He would follow the example of New Zealand’s three-time world champion Sonny Bill Williams, who represented the All Blacks Sevens at the Rio Games although his side fail to be among the medals.
Although the explosive Folau would likely be a strong sevens player, the sport has become so specialised in its skill set and fitness requirements that many 15s players have struggled to adapt.
Among them is Liam Messam, the All Blacks player who joined Williams in trying to win a place in the 2016 Olympic squad but failed to make the grade.