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Rugby Sevens at the Olympics

cyRil

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Evening all. In October 2009 the IOC decided to re-introduce Rugby Sevens back into the Olympics at the Summer games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, and I am currently in the process of writing an article on some of the implications and possible outcomes of this decision.

I was just wondering what people's general thoughts on this topic were. What kind of impact will it have on the game of Sevens and the broader sport of rugby in general. Will we see other 'smaller' nations emerge to an impressive standard in the next few years, as Kenya have recently. What kind of financial and commercial benefits will the game receive? Will the profile of the sport be promoted even further in places like the USA, Russia and China - historical heavyweights in Olympic stakes - in order to compete and add another gold medal to their overall tally?

You don't have to answer all these questions! But I'd like to know different people's opinions and perceptions on this particular topic, so any help would be greatly appreciated! Chaaaaaarss! :)
 

Thingimubob

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Well the majority of articles I've read on US Rugby have said that sevens is well on its way to eclipsing the full XVs game, party because of it's coming Olympic status. Been described as 'sexier' and just simply more appealing to the US public. It will definitely release more funds from the different counties's governments as they're always looking to fund sports that have an Olympic sticker slapped on it Will be interesting anyway to see if it helps teams that're traditionally minnows grow on the big stage, will also give smaller Olympic nations like the Pacific Isles a chance at a medal too.
Will be interesting to see what kind of selection policy the bigger rugby nations take too, considering most use it as a way to blood young players, while others have teams of sevens specialists. Will we also see the stars of the main sport lured into the teams by the chance of an Olympic gold.
 

nickdnz

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What I think will be interesting, as mentioned before, what kind of emphasis will countries like China, Russia, USA etc, all put on the event. Because of its Olympic status, I think not only will there be a bigger pull for countries to start supporting 7's at a grass roots level, there may be a couple of athletes from other sports that will consider making the change. Imagine if a few players from the NFL decide that they want to try and win a medal at the Olympics, or the people who don't quite make the Jamaican sprinting team. There will certainly be quite a few athletes who'll want a chance at a medal.

With that in mind, I think it will be very interesting to see what the majour rugby nations do. We've seen already the All Blacks using 7's as a tool for development, but there may well be a situation like the Commonwealth Games where players like Jonah Lomu, Hosea Gear, Christian Cullen, Rico Gear, Mils Muliaina, Cory Jane, Liam Messam etc, all enter to try and get a gold medal, so I can see an even bigger appeal come the 2016 Olympics. You may get a few first choice All Blacks who want to a chance to be in the Olympics.

I don't think 7's will become as big as 15 man rugby. People tend to really underestimate just how many people watch a Rugby World Cup. There is something like 2 billions viewer in 2007, which was the third most watched sporting event in the world behind the Olympics and FIFA World Cup (beating things like the Cricket World Cup, Wimbleton and the Super Bowl). This upcoming RWC has a combined estimate of 4 billion viewers. http://www.rugbyworldcup.com/destinationnewzealand/news/newsid=2036054.html. It's actually huge. We just tend to forget this because it's the only time where Rugby is hugely watched throughout (especially considering there is such a focus on rugby within different countries and hemispheres).
 

Co2en5

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imagine a Chinese rugby 7's team competing for gold (well with their population, chances are they have some good footy players)

or as was mentioned above, a Jamaican sevens team, wow, can't wait to see this in the Olympics
 

big ginger 8

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Am really expecting the Russians ecspecially to put more into sevens. Say if he's still got his pace they'll get Armetiv.
 

TRF_Olyy

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Doubt Artemiev would - he's in the XVs squad playing for Saints - would be a step backwards to be a fulltime 7s player
 

big ginger 8

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I'm talking simply about the olympics.
 

TRF_Olyy

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Which will be populated by pro 7s players
It's the reason so many countries are starting to have full time contracted 7s players - playing XVs full time then flitting across to 7s isn't the best way to go about it
 

nickdnz

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Well, keep in mind that the next Olympics with 7's in it, is five years away. Chances are that players will only start to switch codes 2-3 years out.
 

zimmer

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Rugby will now get goverment funding in germany! so its a step in the right direction.
 

Deadmonton

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I greatly prefer union to 7s, but 7s will help the profile of rugby overall and that can only be a good thing. It will be interesting to see if some countries that excel at 7s end up as major countries in union.
 

UilamOsa

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Actual Athletes that will not qualify for their respective sports will consider the sevens. Imagine US/Jamaican Sprinters joining the US/Jamaican team.

f Sponsorship blows up - we could possibly see the introduction of a IPL type 7's competition in a few years.
 
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