|14 Jan 2020|
|Alumni in the media|
As first reported by Fox Sports, the Rio Olympics gold medallist has signed a short-term deal to re-join the sevens program after the 2020 AFLW season.
Rugby Australia has been in talks with Dalton for months and announced her return on Tuesday in Sydney.
“In her last season playing (2017) Chloe was the Australian sevens player of the year and we are looking forward to providing her with the platform to be that player again,” women’s coach John Manenti said.
“The competition for positions is already red hot and adding a multi skilled player into the mix will only increase that drive amongst the players for the gold jersey.
“Chloe is a world class kicker and will add depth to our current crop of kickers.”
Dalton is currently contracted to Carlton and will have minimal time to prepare for the Games, given she has not sought early leave from the Blues.
The AFLW grand final is scheduled for April 18, leaving Dalton two World Series legs to stake her claim for Olympic selection.
Australia plays a tournament in Langford on May 2, before heading to Paris for the final event of the season on May 30.
If the Blues fail to make finals, Dalton will be allowed to return to the sevens scene earlier, putting her in the frame for the Hong Kong Sevens.
The 26-year-old was a key pillar in the national team’s run to Olympic glory back in 2016, scoring 34 points over the three day competition.
She shocked the rugby community when she made the call to step away from the national sevens program early in 2018.
The decision came weeks after he was awarded the Shaun Mackay Medal in 2017 as women’s sevens player of the year.
Dalton joined Carlton’s women’s program in May 2018 and has been based in Melbourne since.
Source: AAP Chloe in action for Carlton
Despite her 2016 heroics and close relationship with Manenti, there is no guarantee Dalton is a walk-up start for the Tokyo Games.
In her absence, Emma Sykes has cemented her place as the national team’s designated kicker.
Following Dalton’s departure after the 2018 Sydney Sevens, Australia have failed to win a World Series tournament.
“I’d like to thank Carlton for their support in me pursuing the gold jersey and to John Manenti and Scott Bowen for their faith in me in giving me this opportunity,” Dalton said.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back to and getting on with the hard work with my teammates.”
Australia is second in the 2019-20 women’s World Series standings ahead of the next tournament in Hamilton over the Australia Day weekend.
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