Illawarra Newsroom

Tonegato knocks back league to stay with sevens


Illawarra Olympic rugby sevens gold medallist Emma Tonegato has secured her future for another two-years with Rugby Australia guaranteeing she will be part of the Australian set up that attempts to defend their title at the Tokyo Olympics.

Tonegato has inked a new contract which completes the retention of key players by Rugby Australia.

“There are eight of us left from Rio and we have all re-signed now, so that sends that strong message that we are all here and we do want to go back-to-back,” Tonegato said.

“The Olympic gold medal is such an amazing achievement and we all want to do that again," she said.

Tonegato has shown extreme loyalty to Australia's rugby sevens program after confirming she knocked back an offer to return to rugby league earlier this year after being offered a contract to play in the inaugural Women's NRL Premiership.

“This contract (renewal) all came at a time when it was looking really exciting for the NRLW,” Tonegato said.

“I have a lot of friends who play league, so they were like “come and play, come and play."

“But when I sat down and looked at the facts and figures, it wasn’t for me," she said.

“I got an offer and basically just said no straight away. We are so professional here in rugby and its a full time job," Tonegato said.

"It’s a whole year round situation, it’s not just that four weeks of NRL, and we get to go to the Olympics. In comparison rugby is just way higher up. I am sure NRL will get there one day but at the moment it’s all rugby for me,” she said.

Image: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu