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SBD Global/August 29, 2014/Olympics

ARU Paves Way For Folau To Play At Rio Olympics With Post-Games Sabbatical Clause

An "almost hidden add-on" to the Australian Rugby Union’s contracting changes surrounding the 2016 Olympics "could prove to be most important of all" in the fight to keep Israel Folau, according to Iain Payten of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH. Along with the major changes of the flexible contract announced Wednesday by ARU CEO Bill Pulver, "it was also revealed any player who participates in the Rio Olympics would be allowed to play in the Japanese competition" at the end of '16-17. The ARU is "desperate" for Folau to play sevens in Rio, and it is understood it believes that "the star fullback is keen to add that experience to his CV after the Rugby World Cup in 2015." Pulver said that the Olympics "are important for the growth of rugby in Australia, both financially and in terms of participation, and he wants big guns on board." Pulver: "The importance of the Olympics can’t be understated" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 8/28).
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