SYDNEY (AP) — Australian rugby intends to make sevens its priority in 2016, the year the sport first appears at the Olympic games.

ARU chief executive Bill Pulver said on Thursday that Australia will continue its focus on the 15-man game but said a change of focus was needed because "winning a medal in the men's and women's (Olympics) events is right up there as our No.1 priority for (2106)."

The decision to steer Wallabies players toward sevens is likely to aggravate rugby purists because Australia has little pedigree in sevens and is unlikely to be a major medal chance at an Olympics, even with its leading players.