Hunting a different gold: Toole slated for Olympic push as fellow flyer Lancaster included in Wallabies squad

Fri, Jun 21, 2024, 4:52 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson

Brumbies winger Corey Toole's move back to Sevens for the Olympics was all but confirmed after Joe Schmidt named his first Wallabies squad.

Toole was included as part of the players not available for selection, with the flyer set to return to the Sevens program for next month's Olympics.

Tickets to the Wallabies 2024 Home Tests are available to purchase here.

The 24-year-old will link up with the program in the coming days after an excellent season with the Brumbies.

"I think it's a massive pinnacle event for Rugby Australia," Schmidt said on the Olympics. 

"I had a discussion with Corey, and Corey was happy to prioritise in the short term the Olympics.

"I think Corey will be a real kind of asset to us if selected beyond that."

Toole has been earmarked as a key target for the 2024 Olympics by coach John Manenti as the men's side pushes for a maiden medal.

“I think the more documented (Super targets ) are Corey Toole and Darby Lancaster. They’re lighting up Super Rugby. Corey hasn’t been with us for a little over 12 months now but we’re all getting used to seeing him score tries in 15s with his out-and-out wheels," Manenti told Rugby.com.au before April's Hong Kong event.

"Clearly he’d be a real weapon to add but they’ve also got ambitions to play for the Wallabies which we respect

“We’re preparing a squad that’s ready for injuries, selection possibilities and probabilities that can and may happen around Wallabies. Whatever we even up with, we’ll be really confident by the time we get to Paris.”

Lancaster will join the Wallabies in camp for the July series, with NSW Waratahs and former Wallabies winger Mark Nawaqanitawase making the switch to Sevens last week.

"Darby's speed is very, very good. He is a very good defender post-tackle, puts a lot of pressure on," Schmidt notes.

"I just think that it's a great opportunity for him to get in and learn a bit of his craft in a Wallabies environment."

Schmidt also opened up on Reds cult hero Tim Ryan, resisting the 'temptation' to pick the 'Junkyard Dog.'

"I had a super conversation with him around selection and around his readiness for selection," he added.

"I think one of the things you've got to be just a little bit wary of is the temptation by the excitement of a young kid who plays really well and then the reality of readiness to play at that level and the players that he's going to come up against.

"Tim has done a great job for the Reds and we'll enjoy tracking him and potentially Tim being involved at some time in the future."

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