For real . . . South Africa wins gold in Glasgow after defeating New Zealand 17-12 in the final. Photo: Skysports
Rugby sevens’ debut at the Rio Olympics is set to be extended to a six-day event from the weekend festival that’s become commonplace at the Commonwealth Games and on the IRB world circuit.
But IRB chief executive officer Brett Gosper insists the integrity of the high intensity game won’t be compromised.
IOC officials have advised the IRB to try to increase the visibility of their sport if they wish to ensure sevens lasts longer than the guarantee of two Olympics it’s been given so far.
Ben Ryan and wife Natalie. Photo: The Rugby Paper
Stepping down from the England Sevens head coach role after six years in charge last August, Ben Ryan was set to take a year out and work as a consultant for UK Sport with the dream of leading Team GB to the Rio Olympics in 2016.
But a Skype interview in the middle of the night in his Teddington home turned his world upside down.
In the space of a few weeks, he packed his bags, took his wife Natalie with him and travelled to the other side of the world to become Fiji Sevens head coach.
England to play lead for British berth in Olympics. Photo: IRB
England will try to qualify Team GB for the Rugby Sevens tournament at the Rio 2016 Olympics
England have been nominated by the British Unions (The Rugby Football Union, Scottish Rugby Union and Welsh Rugby Union) as the lead nation to attempt to qualify, on behalf of Team GB, for both the men’s and women’s Rugby Sevens competitions at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
For Team GB to qualify in the first qualification phase, the sides would be required to finish in the top four of the 2014/15 HSBC Sevens World Series (men’s) and IRB Women’s Sevens World series (women’s).
Fiji celebrates a recent win in Hong Kong. Photo: rugbywrapup
Fiji will win its first Olympic Games medal in Rio de Janeiro, says IRB chief executive Brett Gosper.
“Fiji will surprise the world but not us (IRB) if they win their country’s first-ever Olympic medal,” Gosper said when questioned what nations will surprise when rugby sevens will be included for the first time in the biggest global sporting event.
Gosper was fielding questions from rugby followers on Olympic Day on Tuesday and he believes the sport will be a big hit in Rio.
Gosper would like to see Israel Folau in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Photo: Getty Images
Household names must feature in Olympic Sevens in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 if rugby is to maximise its opportunity on the world stage, International Rugby Board chief Brett Gosper says.
The board under Gosper is encouraging international unions to work through red-tape issues and ensure stars who want to play are allowed to do so.