Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Rugby Sevens and the Rio Olympics

It used to be the game that you'd play after the real toil was done.

After six months of slogging it out in the 15-man code, you'd have your end-of-season club dinner and then field a groggy-headed motley crew for a weekend of Sevens.

But as Matt Cleary writes in this excellent piece in The Guardian, Sevens is now an altogether more serious business. And with the Rio Olympics just around the corner, the game is set to go up a further notch or too - both in terms of its general popularity and the regard in which it's held within rugby circles.

Even if this chap doesn't make an appearance:

As Cleary's article makes clear, Sevens isn't a game that a rock star of the 15-man code can now simply drop into, no matter how stratospheric his play-making skills may be. It is a craft in and of itself, demanding a particular skillset.

To see those skills on show in Rio will not only take rugby to new audiences but also further inflate Sevens' credibility as a serious sport. And that will be to the benefit of all fans of the oval ball.