Nawaqanitawase receives Olympic nomination before retiring from NRL

Mark Nawaqanitawase will be an Olympian before moving to the NRL after a late rise into the Australian sevens rugby team.

The former Wallabies winger has signed with the Sydney Roosters and could play for them this season after the NRL approved the move on Tuesday.

The former Waratahs player will be hoping to bring home some silverware after being selected for John Manenti's team, which will arrive in Paris among a host of gold medal contenders.

While former Wallabies captain Michael Hooper was not happy with the bid, Commonwealth Games representative Nawaqanitawase's speed and athleticism were enough to secure him a place in the 12-man squad named on Wednesday.

Brumbies winger and former Sevens regular Corey Toole will also play in Paris. He and Nawaqanitawase were able to prove themselves in a short-notice training camp in June.

“We welcome Corey Toole and Mark Nawaqanitawase back to the team. Both have made a seamless transition and add an X-factor to our proven combinations,” said Manenti.

“We recently had two really good weeks in Fiji and Darwin. That and our solid season have prepared the team really well for Paris.”

Rio gold medallists Charlotte Caslick and Sharni Smale, as well as Nick Malouf and Henry Hutchison, all become Australia's first triple Olympians in rugby.

The Australian men finished fourth in the World Series while the women took the title, and their rivalry with New Zealand is likely to reach new heights in France.


MEN: Nick Malouf (captain), Ben Dowling, Matthew Gonzalez, Henry Hutchison, Nathan Lawson, Maurice Longbottom, Mark Nawaqanitawase, Henry Paterson, Dietrich Roache, Hayden Sargeant, Corey Toole, James Turner. (Substitutes: Josh Turner, Michael Icely).

WOMEN: Charlotte Caslick (captain), Bridget Clark, Dominique du Toit, Tia Hinds, Maddison Levi, Isabella Nasser, Faith Nathan, Sariah Paki, Kaitlin Shave, Sharni Smale, Bienne Terita. (Substitutes: Kahli Henwood, Sidney Taylor).