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Ex-Rooster fast-tracked to Aussie sevens

09/01/2009 05:16:19 PM Comments (0)

Former Sydney Roosters fullback Shaun Foley has been plucked from the footballing wilderness by Australian rugby sevens coach Michael O'Connor.

Foley, a former Australian Schoolboys rugby representative who came off contract with NRL club the Roosters this year, hasn't played union for four years and was about to have his first training run with Sydney club side Randwick when he took O'Connor's call.

"I was always a rugby union player before I joined the Roosters straight out of school, and I always wanted to come back at some stage and give it another go," he said in an Australian Rugby Union statement on Friday.

"I haven't played for four years and I'll be heading down to the Randwick club on Tuesday for my first training run with them.

"So it came as a shock when Mick O'Connor rang me during the week to offer me the opportunity to play at the sevens."

The 22-year-old scored six tries in nine games with the Roosters but struggled with injury in the past two NRL seasons and missed most of 2008 with a broken ankle.

He will join O'Connor's 11-man Aussie Spirit squad for the Hottest Sevens in the World event in Darwin later this month ahead of Australia's return to the IRB World Series sevens circuit.

"This tournament will be about giving a couple of new guys an opportunity to see how they go," O'Connor said.

"I'd like to think they could push for selection in the next two IRB rounds to be played in Wellington (next month) and then San Diego.

"Shaun Foley is one of those guys."

Aussie Spirit squad for the Hottest Sevens in the World on January 24-25: Peter Betham, Will Brock, Stanley Hokafonu, Jonathon Jenkins, Richard Kingi, Ben McCalman, Brian Sefanaia, Afusipa Taumoepeau, Shaun Foley, Damon Murphy, Greg Jeladouv.

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