Sevens retains Olympic status for 2024, 2028

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman in Japan

Sevens will remain an Olympic sport until at least 2028, after the International Olympic Committee confirmed the sporting lineup for the next two games.

The IOC announced overnight that all of the 28 current core sports would stay in the Games for the 2024 Paris and 2028 Los Angeles Games, a major boon for Sevens

Aussie men’s coach Andy Friend said the confirmation was a sign of the progress the sport is making.

“I think it’s a brilliant thing for the sport,” he said.

“Yet again, it’s an indication of the growing popularity of the sport.

“Its inclusion for Rio was probably the  first time a lot of people had seen it but the general interest in the game is growing and the athletes have solidified that with quality games.

“I believe the Olympics is still a dream for a lot of people and it’s a mystical event that happens every four years that you can try and compete in for a gold medal.”

Friend said the Olympic chance was already a helpful addition when it came to recruiting talent.

“Previously you weren’t able to compete in the Olympics if you played rugby, whether that’s rugby or rugby league, so  now you can in a version of rugby union,” he said.

“It’s a strong drawcard over other sports and we’re already seeing that with recruitment.

“The annual world series is very attractive, the Commonwealth games and then Olympics are a massive drawcard for men and women wanting to compete.”

The Aussie men head to Munich next weekend for the first in a new group of international invitational tournaments, set to take on Fiji in their pool matches.

Beyond that, they’ll head to Noosa, the NSW Central Coast, California’s San Jose and Fiji for their 2017-18 World Series preparation.

“That’s another sign of the growth of the sport, countries, other countries businesses and sponsors are seeing how attractive it is and new tournaments are popping up all over the place,” Friend said.

“Along with the announcement of the 7s being a part of the Olympics for next three Olympics shows the growing interest and excitement."

Australia’s top women are competing in the Uni7s series across the country, with the third leg in Brisbane LIVE on RUGBY.com.au all weekend.