Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Why Rugby Sevens at the Rio Olympics won't need George North and Co. in order to be special

So, International Rugby Board boss Brett Gosper is turning up the heat to make sure Unions release their big-name players for the Sevens at the Rio Olympic Games.

He has a point - but only up to a point. While it would, arguably, make box office and PR sense to have rugby's biggest names representing their countries at Sevens at the Olympics, let's remember these guys are specialists of the 15-a-side game - a very different kettle of fish to the seven-minute halves of Sevens.

There are centrally-contracted players who tour the globe playing Sevens for their countries for a living. They have a specific skill-set and a specific training regime.

To parachute in big names at their expense would be an insult - to Sevens players, to spectators, and to the game itself.

And given the compelling drama and top-notch skills on display at the Commonwealth Games Sevens at the weekend, do we really need to have the big-name 'star dust' sprinkled on the Olympics?

No, we don't. Sevens is an attractive enough proposition without the need for Chris Ashton, Sonny Bill Williams or George North to temporarily take up the game.

Let's make sure the stars of Sevens shine for themselves - and aren't artificially eclipsed by their better-known 15-a-side peers.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry, don't agree with you Tom Bradshaw. Sevens need the best there is,including SBW. You need to be in touch with the times.