In 2009, the International Olympic Committee announced that Rugby Union would be making a return to the Olympic Games in the Rugby Sevens format. The 15 man version of rugby was previously included in the Olympics in 1900, 1908, 1920 and 1924, but the modified format has now been guaranteed inclusion for both Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.
In Rio, both the male and female competitions will be held over 2 days in a temporary arena at the Deodoro Zone, the second largest concentration of competition venues for the games. There are 12 teams in each of the men’s and women’s draws, with Australia having qualified for both. Most of the usual suspects of World Rugby have also qualified, with the likes of New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina and France all expected to do well. England itself will not be competing, instead forming Great Britain with Wales and Scotland. There will, however, be a few unfamiliar faces with the likes of Kenya and Brazil having also qualified.
Despite our successful history with the 15 man version of the game, Australia has a chequered history when it comes to Rugby Sevens. Our men’s team has never won the Sevens World Cup in 6 attempts, finishing runner up on 2 occasions, whilst our women’s team won the inaugural Rugby Sevens World Cup in 2009, but failed to qualify for the semi-finals in 2013 and finished 5th.
Generally speaking, players don’t cross from the 15-a-side game to the 7-a-side game; however there have been players in the past who have done so. Australia’s Bernard Foley represented the Sevens team at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, but also played and starred in the recent full-sided 2015 Rugby World Cup competition.
|2016 RIO||FIJI||GREAT BRITAIN||SOUTH AFRICA|
|2016 RIO||AUSTRALIA||NEW ZEALAND||CANADA|