Sevens star quits Olympic dream for France

03:24, Jun 13 2013

All Blacks Sevens player Toby Arnold has given up on his Olympic dream to sign a two-year deal with French club Lyon.

His French contract starts next month, meaning Arnold won't be playing for the Bay of Plenty Steamers in this year's national championship.

The 25-year-old suffered a serious knee injury last year. Two operations and months of rehab forced a rethink about his future.

Clearly, financial security was foremost in his mind.

The cost has been a tilt at the Olympics after winning a gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and being part of the world series wins across 2010-12.

"This has been the hardest decision I have had to make in my career," he said.

"While I am excited and nervous about the challenge ahead of me in France, I have been honoured to play for my country and province and I have not taken the decision to leave that behind lightly."

Lyon are in the second tier of French rugby and desperate to return to the Top 14.

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Fairfax Media