English Rugby
Foden stakes claim for Rio 2016 call-up
ESPN Staff
October 3, 2012
Northampton fullback Ben Foden gives the thumbs up during training, Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, England, April 28, 2011
Ben Foden hopes to turn out in the 2016 Rio Games for Great Britain © Getty Images
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England and Northampton Saints fullback Ben Foden has said that he would "bend over backwards" to play in the 2016 Rio Games.

Former England coach Sir Clive Woodward has already tipped Welsh flyer George North to make an impact in the Olympics if given the nod and Foden is also sure to be in the frame if the coaching team behind Great Britain's Sevens side opt to give XV players a go, rather than keeping the faith with dedicated Sevens specialists.

Foden has turned out for the England Sevens side in the past but now earns his crust playing as a fullback for both Northampton and England. But before the Olympics come around in four years time, the focus will be on the home World Cup in 2015.

And Foden has his sights set on winning that first but admits that he has already sought the advice of the past and present England Sevens coaching team about a possible transition to the short form of the game.

"If we win the World Cup I'd bend over backwards to try and make the Olympic team," Foden told Sportsvibe. "I'd do whatever it takes. I've been tapping up (coaches) Ben Ryan and Mike Friday. Who wouldn't want to play in the Olympics? It would be a once in a lifetime experience. I'd be keen to do some extra training at any time. I know for a fact that quite a few of the England boys would want to do the same."

There is a chance that Great Britain will opt for the players turning out in the HSBC Sevens World Series rather than opting for those who excel on a weekly basis in the XV form of the game but Foden believes there should be a combination of both skill sets.

"I understand the question is do you pick guys who have been playing sevens for five years or five minutes?" Foden said. "I'd be the first to admit that sevens is a different game to the XV a side version. The levels of fitness go up another level.

"But does Team GB want to field its best players to try and win a gold medal? I'd argue that the guys who play full-time sevens would play for an Aviva Premiership club if they could. The solution would be to have a training camp with 30 or 40 players from both XV a side and sevens and whittle the numbers down to the final Olympic squad."

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