August 13, 2009
The Rugby Football Union today joined the IRB in welcoming the news from the International Olympic Committee that Rugby Sevens has been recommended as one of the two sports to be added to the 2016 Olympics.
Elite Rugby Director, Rob Andrew MBE said "Rugby Union, which is played in more than 100 countries around the world has a superb opportunity to further develop and grow through its new partnership with the IOC. Following the news that England had been awarded the right to host the RWC 2015 this is a another massive boost for the sport, which will raise its profile, encourage more and more people to play and watch the game at all levels not only in England but worldwide.
"We realise though that this is just the first step and the final decision rests with the IOC Committee. We hope they will see that Rugby would be good for the Olympics and the Olympics would be good for rugby. Rugby Sevens is short, sharp and entertaining and reflects the Olympics' core values of sportsmanship, friendship, respect and discipline. In doing so Rugby can play a role in achieving the IOC's mission statement of reaching out to young people."
England Sevens Coach Ben Ryan said "Having Coached the England Sevens squad for the last three years I have seen at first hand its international appeal. From 40,000 fans in Wellington through to successful tournaments in Hong Kong, Dubai and 60,000 supporters attending the Emirates Airline London Sevens at Twickenham last May, Sevens has a proven track record in sport and entertainment and through the partnership with the IOC we're very excited at the prospect of taking this fantastic sport to new territories."