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AUDIO - Olympic decision due for sevens

29 September 2009

  • Decision due on October 9
  • Rob Andrew lends support to the bid to include sevens in 2016 Games
Ollie Phillips (C) runs with the ball during IRB Rugby World Cup Sevens 2009

Photo: Getty Images

On October 9 the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will decide whether rugby sevens will join the 2016 Olympic Games Programme.

Rugby last featured in the Games in 1924 when the USA were victorious over France, but last month rugby sevens along with golf was recommended for inclusion by the IOC Executive Board.

The IOC will meet in Copenhagen, Denmark, on October 9 where rugby sevens and golf will face separate votes at the meeting with a straight majority required for acceptance.

Rob Andrew, the Rugby Football Union Elite Rugby Director, said: "Sevens would be an invaluable addition to the Olympic Games. As proved in the Commonwealth Games, the IRB Sevens World Series and through its own Rugby World Cup, it is a thrilling spectacle that captivates the fans.

"Current England squad members like Tom Croft and Ugo Monye have benefited from playing international sevens and always speak highly of it. The thought of joining with the other home unions to make a team GB is very exciting and on behalf of the RFU and the Elite Rugby department I wholeheartedly support the bid to include sevens rugby for men and women at the 2016 Olympic Games."

Rugby World Cup Sevens in Dubai attracted thousands last March with broadcast figures shattering all previous records - 28 broadcasters carried live coverage to 141 countries to a global audience of 760 million and for the first time a 16-team women's world cup event was included.

Nicky Ponsford MBE, the Rugby Football Union for Women's Head of Performance, said: "The first joint IRB Rugby World Cup 7s in 2009 proved a tremendous success and demonstrated how effectively the game is developing around the World.

"Sevens has become an integral part of the development of many players and the current England Women's squad have benefited hugely from the time spent concentrating on the sevens rugby programme last year. The RFUW are fully supportive of the inclusion of 7s in the Olympic Games in what would be a hugely exciting opportunity to showcase rugby." 

The following IRB podcast includes further debate and comment on the growth of sevens rugby and features comment from England men’s sevens head coach Ben Ryan, and Ollie Phillips of England who is the current world sevens player of the year.