Wallabies or Olympics – Pulver

Date published: April 22 2015

1022.6666666666666x767__origin__0x0_Bill_Pulber_Australian_Rugby_Union_CEO_2015

Australian Rugby Union boss Bill Pulver says it is unlikely that Wallabies will represent Australia at next year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Despite granting Waratahs fly-half Bernard Foley Pulver a "flexible contract", which will allow him to play two seasons in Japan over the next three years, the ARU won't be allowing players to play for the Wallabies and go to the Olympics with Australia's Sevens team in 2016.

Pulver said players like Foley and code-hopper Israel Folau – who might also dream of representing his country at the Olympics – must decide between one or the other.

"We've got the wonderful situation of having an outstanding international 15s game and an outstanding international sevens game," Pulver said at the annual AAP Sports Editors' Conference in Sydney.

"I think there's every possibility that there will be some 15s player representation in the Olympic team, but it's not yet clear who that will be.

"But to get there, first and foremost they need to be eager to do it.

"Second, we need to manage a contract situation around that and third, frankly, they have to be prepared to give up a Super Rugby and Wallabies season."

Pulver also said that next year's Super Rugby Final would probably take place at the start of August – just one week before the start of the Rio Olympics.

"So there's really no compromise," he added.

"If you want to go to the Olympics, you have to be prepared to walk away from the entire 15-man season. That is what it is.

"We'll be negotiating with those players who are eager to go. Then you've got to marry that up with who the (Sevens) coach (Geraint John) wants to pick."

COMMENTS