All at sea: Nick Phipps (left) and members of the Waratahs meet Ollie Phillips.

All at sea: Nick Phipps (left) and members of the Waratahs meet Ollie Phillips. Photo: Dean Sewell

Waratah Nick Phipps still has the "hunger and drive" to fight his way back in to the Wallabies squad, but the 14-cap halfback says sevens rugby is still his "favourite form of the game".

Phipps was dockside at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia at Rushcutters Bay on Sunday, where he and several other Waratahs stepped on board one of the 12 70-footers in the Clipper Round the World race, of which the Sydney to Hobart is one leg.

A reminder of his sevens days was not long in coming, with Phipps greeted by the grinning, bearded face of former English sevens captain Ollie Phillips, who is on the crew of the GREAT Britain boat.

The Englishman is sidelined from rugby with a calf muscle injury, but hopes to be back in time to make the squad for the Rio Olympics in 2016, where rugby sevens will be part of the program for the first time.

Phipps also hopes to play at the Games as a member of the Australian team. He played in the IRB Sevens World Series in 2009 and at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, where Australia won the silver medal after losing the final to New Zealand.

Phipps believes the prospect of Waratah Israel Folau and Kiwi Sonny Bill Williams – who has just signed to return to New Zealand and play rugby on a two-year contract after one more season with NRL premiers the Roosters next year – playing sevens rugby at the 2016 Olympics demonstrates the level of interest in that version of the game.

"Players from around the world are jumping at it," Phipps said on Sunday, adding that he hopes the Australian Rugby Union makes it possible for players in the 15-a-side game to vie for selection.

"You have Sonny Bill, Israel Folau – two phenomenal players who would be great at that level.

"There is so much talk about the sevens, especially in Australia. I would love to do it.

"I don't know what the circumstances are; they [the ARU] haven't really made it clear.

"I remember they said you have to play sevens for a year and that is a bit difficult as you would be giving up an opportunity to play for the Wallabies.

"I don't know how it's going to work, but if I have the opportunity, I'd love the chance.

"It's still my favourite form of the game – I loved it.

"All the other countries – the minnow countries before [sevens rugby's acceptance for the] Olympics were announced – are going gangbusters.

"The Russians, the USA are going really well in this year's tournament. Fiji are investing a lot of money; there is a chance of gold medal there."

Phipps, meanwhile, is focused on his first Super 15 season with Waratahs after joining the NSW side from the Melbourne Rebels.

Waratahs coach Michael Cheika said their goal is to finish in the top two, and that expectation is justified said Phipps, who last played for the Wallabies in their loss to the British and Irish Lions in the third Test in Brisbane.

And he has not given up hope of earning selection for the Wallabies again.

"It is clear from Ewen [McKenzie] that how your Super team performs goes 95 per cent towards selection," Phipps said.

"The Waratahs players are not looking too far ahead ... 'Cheik' made it clear that he wants a top-two [finish], so if we can do that, [Wallaby] selection will hopefully come ...

"It's been a slow year [for Phipps], but to be in a good club with a good bunch of guys ...

"The hunger and drive is there, so hopefully [2014] will be a good year."