Parahi has long-term sights on Sevens

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Jesse Parahi has returned to the Aussie Men’s Sevens outfit and he says it’s just like he’s never left.

Parahi helped Australia qualify for Rio last year before making a switch to NRL, training with the Wests Tigers for the past three months.

The 26-year-old has signed with the Sevens for two years and hopes to stick around for much longer.

“I want to make a good crack at it,” he said.

“If I could make two Olympics that would be unreal I think.”

His time at the Sydney Sevens earlier this year helped spark his return to the squad, on the home stretch to the Rio Olympics.

“I went down to Sydney and just the success was unbelievable,” he said.

“That was probably a little bit of a turning point like, ‘I want to be there’.

“I spoke to Friendy  (Men’s Sevens coach Andy Friend) at the Sydney Sevens where it started and he joked about me coming back.

“It went from there. We had a few chats after that and decided it would be a good idea to come back.”

Jesse Parahi is in for the long haul. Photo: Getty Images

Parahi will have to shift a few kilos in his Sevens comeback but said he was ready to start trimming down.

“I’ve put on about 4-5 kg,” he said.

“Those league boys like to bulk you up a bit so I might have to trim down a little bit. I’ve got a bit of fitness work to do.”

Returning to training last Monday, Parahi said he felt like he had just returned from an extended holiday.

“There's a few new faces but the core group of guys is all the same guys I’ve been playing with the last five years so it felt like I’d just come back from an extended holiday,” he said.

“Having Friendy, (conditioning coach) Nick Poulos and all the new staff, they look to be driving the program in the right direction.”

While he has slipped back into the Sevens outfit, Parahi said he knew he would have to earn his spot back before Rio.

“I need to prove my case,” he said.

“London and Paris (World Series tournaments) would be the ideal stage to do that.

“We’ve got a couple of little tournaments in house after that but I need to be on that plane for London and Paris to make a good crack at it.”