Malouf knocks back offers abroad, signs with Aussie Sevens

Mens - London
by Sam Phillips

Rio Olympian Nick Malouf has knocked back offers in Europe to chase his gold medal dreams in Tokyo, signing with the Aussie Sevens after two years abroad.

Malouf left Australian shores for Leicester after the lacklustre Rio campaign but returns as a 25-year-old with two seasons spent on the wing for the Tigers under his belt.

It's a significant coup for new Aussie Men's Sevens coach Tim Walsh, who pointed to the signing as a signal that Sevens is quickly becoming a career path of choice.

"Nick is a proven performer on the Sevens circuit and his experience in the UK will no doubt be beneficial to his maturity as a professional athlete," Walsh said.

"His desire to return to the Sevens program after a very successful stint with Leicester shows the level of talent we are now attracting.Malouf has been a regular starter on Leicester's flank. Photo: Getty Images"The Sevens program is quickly becoming an attractive career choice for rugby players.

"Competitive salaries, world class competitions, international travel and the opportunity to compete at the world’s biggest sporting event, the Olympics."

Malouf said the years abroad was a scratch he needed to itch before another tilt at Olympic gold.

"I’ve been lucky enough to have a fantastic year at Leicester, playing in the Premiership and against some of the top clubs in Europe," he said.

"It’s allowed me to tick off some personal goals in the 15 a-side game, look at rugby from a new perspective and learn so much from the coaching staff and boys in the team like Matty Toomua, Manu (Tuilagi) and Taity (Matthew Tait).
Malouf knocked back offers abroad to return to Australia. Photo: Getty Images"The time was right to move back to Australia and with the results you’ve seen this year, I’m incredibly motivated to help contribute to the growth and success of the Sevens program over the next few years as the team builds towards Tokyo."

Walsh has also secured the signature of young gun Joe Pincus, who is yet to make his World Series debut.

"Joe is a great young talent too, who will come into his own over the next 18 months," Walsh said.

"We’ve tried to gradually introduce him but his World Series debut isn’t far away if he continues to knuckle down."

The Aussie Men's Sevens side tackle the London 7s on June 2 and 3, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS.