Nick Malouf has been a spectator for much of the Australian Sevens’s revival this season, but he’s preparing for a late Olympic tilt.
Malouf ruptured his ACL last season, returning to training this week as he vied to make a late run for Rio.
“I’m just transitioning back into training now,” he said.
“I’ve done a few contact sessions to get all that anger out that I've had over the last six months and running around and it’s good to be back with the boys again.”
The competition for spots has heated up in his absence but Malouf said the prospect of competition is only pushing him more.
“All one squad, everyone’s got the team as their priority,” he said.
“We’re pushing each other and that’s what’s good. If there weren't the guys there, I wouldn’t be pushing as hard.
“It’s good to have a competitive environment.”
While he hasn’t been able to play an on-field part in their recent success, Malouf has forged a strong relationship with new coach Andy Friend.
“We all sat down when he first came in and had a one on one good to get on the same page with the coach,” he said.
“(It was about) him being open with me and me being open with him.
“He has that relationship with all the guys, they all know what he expects of them and that’s probably why we’re having the results that we're having.”
Malouf was at the UOW Rugby Club’s VIVA7s competition, a form of the game he hopes helps to grow things in the future.
“It is good to see VIVA7s and the sort of potential for the ARU to grow the game and really encouraging to see so many women down here.”