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SBD Global/January 29, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Australia Rugby Players Say Path To 2016 Rio Gold Is For Best Players To Play

If Australia is serious about winning Olympic gold in Sevens Rugby at the 2016 Rio Olympics, it "should consider allowing our best rugby league players to get involved," according to Koch & Smith of THE AUSTRALIAN. Wallabies playmaker Quade Cooper "has already called for" every Australia Rugby Union-contracted player "to be eligible for selection in Australia's Olympic Sevens team, and now a push to include the NRL's best has emerged." Dual int'l Mat Rogers backed the idea, saying that selecting the best talent from every code "would ensure Australia had its best chance to win a gold medal." Rogers said, "The ARU gets pretty righteous and even a bit childish, in my opinion, when it comes to selection. I mean, not selecting their best players because they play overseas just seems a little immature to me." But while a unified rugby code's campaign to win Olympic gold "is an enticing fantasy the reality is that the ARU won't be opening up the selection process to non-rugby union players." ARU CEO Bill Pulver said, "I think it is highly unlikely that the ARU would ever embark on a strategy that results in short-term participation of players from other codes" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 1/29).
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