Hakim Miloudi is beaming with pride at representing his Algerian heritage in Rugby 7s and helping their quest of qualifying for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.
The 30-year-old has already represented his birth nation France in rugby league, winning five caps and playing at the 2017 World Cup.
Miloudi is also of Algerian heritage through his mother and father, which makes him eligible to play for both nations.
He recently represented Algeria in a Rugby 7s tournament in Mauritius, which acts as a qualification process for the 2024 Summer Olympics, which takes place in the French capital of Paris.
“Seven or eight years ago Algeria rang me about playing for them but I was in England playing for Hull FC and Toronto so the timing was not good because the tournament of the games was whilst I was in season,” Miloudi told Love Rugby League.
“And last year, they rang me again to play for Algeria in a tournament to qualify for the World Cup but I wasn’t available again because I was with Barrow playing the finals (of the Championship).
“They rang me over the last four or five months and I was in France so I knew I was available this time. Playing Rugby 7s which has a lot of pace is good for me, its what I like and it was a tournament to qualify for the Olympic games so I said yes straight away.
“I’m so grateful to play for France in rugby league and Algeria in Rugby 7s.
“It’s something you can’t explain, it’s an amazing experience to play in the Rugby 7s and something crazy to play for France in rugby league. I can be happy to play for both.”
Hakim Miloudi: Qualifying for the Olympics would be an amazing experience
The Perpignan-born back says representing Algeria next year’s Summer Olympics would be an ‘amazing experience’ if they were to qualify.
He said: “My goals are simple as I want to qualify for the Olympic games in Paris in 2024, that will be an amazing experience.
“I think I’ve played all the tournaments I can like the Rugby League World Cup, Nines World Cup, Super League, Championship, Elite 1 so that’s all good and this will be another big experience for me.
“In June next year, we have the Africa Cup which will be good as well so I am just keen to take my opportunity with Algeria.”
— Hakim Miloudi (@HakimMiloudi2) June 27, 2023
Is he open to making a return to England in the future?
The French Elite 1 Championship season has recently finished, with Miloudi playing for Albi last season.
Miloudi, who has previously played for Hull FC, Doncaster, Toronto Wolfpack and Barrow, says he would be open to making a return to England should the right opportunity arise.
He said: “The season in France is finished and I don’t know what I’m going to do next year and this summer depends on the opportunity.
“If a good opportunity comes in from a Super League club or Championship, then maybe I will take the opportunity but at the moment I don’t know.
“I’m starting to build something in France with my family but they are keen to stay or leave, so that’s not a problem.
“I would be happy to switch and get back in England again. I love the country, I love the level over there, its class, so I will see, I don’t know at the moment.
“We will see what opportunities come in like if I have some good contracts in Championship or Super League, maybe I will take the opportunity but I don’t really know at the moment.”