To celebrate the inclusion of Rugby Sevens at the 2016 Rio Olympics, World Rugby want to highlight the best attributes of the sport. The A-Z of Rugby Sevens is a fantastic way to learn when, who and why Sevens will be the ‘talk of Rio’ when the tournament kicks off on August 6.
24 Men’s and Women’s team will compete on the Deodoro Stadium at the Deodoro Olympic Park – the second largest concentration of competition venues during the Rio 2016 Games. The Stadium, with a 15,000 all-seated capacity, is expected to provide a fantastic festival atmosphere during the sevens competition.
The game will take centre stage at Rio, so a brief ‘breakdown’ of the game is: as with XVs, it is five points for a try, two for a conversion and three points for a penalty/drop goal. Games are split into two seven-minute halves – so you can have plenty of action within a single game. Fewer players on the pitch and less time on the clock means a faster, more exciting game. The pitch is the same size as XVs – so more space, more running, more points and more excitement!
Ready yourself for the games by enjoying the A-Z of Rugby with Last Word On Sports.
A-Z Of Rugby Sevens At The Olympic Games
A – Willy Ambaka (Kenya) was dubbed the ‘Kenyan Lomu’ a couple of years ago and is back in contention after a stint playing club rugby in France. Typically strong going forward
B – Brazilian brothers. Host nation Brazil have two sets of brothers in their squad with Moises and Lucas Duque joined by twins Felipe and Daniel Sancery
C – Colombian women. The team are already sevens stars back home after creating history by upsetting favourites Argentina to win South America’s regional qualifier and book their place at Rio 2016
D – DJ Forbes tied the all-time record for tournaments on the series with his 79th in Hong Kong and now sits alongside Samoa’s Uale Mai
E – Rodrigo Etchart has been excellent for Argentina, as has his young compatriot Bautista Ezcurra, who has risen up through the under-20s and has a giant future ahead of him
F – First for Fiji? Will captains Osea Kolinisau and Ana Roqica lead their teams to Fiji’s first-ever Olympic medal in Rio?
G – Ellia Green A former star of the track in Australia, she has serious ‘jet shoes’ and has worn them to good effect already this season with 17 tries across the three rounds she played
H – USA captain Madison Hughes provides Eagles coach Mike Friday with the sort of intelligence at halfback that he employed through Simon Amor and Ben Gollings in tandem while coach of England
I – Kenya’s Collins Injera became the all-time leading try-scorer in London, surpassing Argentina coach Santiago Gómez Cora’s record of 230 in London to end the series with 235 tries
J – Jillion Potter: The USA’s inspirational captain who has overcome a broken neck and a rare form of cancer to be in the hunt for an Olympic medal
K – Jen Kish (Canada) is one of the most dynamic and hard-working players on the women’s series who is inspired every time she pulls on her national team’s jersey
L – Lomano Lemeki: A talisman for Japan, he scored a hat-trick in the final as they secured core team status for the 2015-16 Men’s Sevens Series
M –Tom Mitchell will be an important figure for Great Britain with his eye for a gap and ability to allow others to play around him
N – Super Bowl XLIX winner Nate Ebner joined the USA Sevens programme to realise a boyhood dream of becoming an Olympian
O – USA are the defending Olympic rugby champions, having won gold the last time the sport was played in 1924 with victories over Romania and hosts France in Paris
P – Pablo Feijoo and Patricia Garcia were key figures for Spain as their men and women came through the repechage events in Monaco and Dublin to claim the final places at Rio 2016
Q – The quickest: Carlin Isles is regarded as the fastest man in world rugby, but don’t blink or you could also miss his fellow speedsters Perry Baker, Seabelo Senatla, Ellia Green and Portia Woodman
R – Savenaca Rawaca burst on the scene for Fiji last season and has built on that form in 2015-16 to become a key figure in Ben Ryan’s squad
S – Seabelo Senatla is a try-scoring machine with 66 in the 2015-16 series. However that is still some way shy of the record for a single series of 83 set by Fiji’s Vilimoni Delasau in 1999-2000
T – Gordon Tietjens: Twenty-two years in charge of the All Blacks Sevens, 12 series titles, two RWC Sevens and four Commonwealth golds
U – Unique double? Will Australia’s Nicole Beck add another first to her impressive resume with the first Olympic gold medal, having already been one of the first Women’s RWC Sevens winners in 2009?
V – Virimi Vakatawa (France) His form on the sevens stage in Dubai and Cape Town saw the Fijian-born dynamo called up for the Six Nations, but he was back to his rampaging best in the final four rounds of the series
W – Portia Woodman (New Zealand) The World Rugby Women’s Sevens Player of the Year for 2015, she became only the fifth player [men’s or women’s] to score more than 50 tries in a single series in 2014-15
X – ‘X-factor’. The considerable talents of Kayla McAlister, Charlotte Caslick, Akira Ioane and Rosko Specman, sevens could never be described as predictable
Y – Youth Olympic Games medallists France’s Sacha Valleau (gold) and Canadian duo Hannah Darling and Charity Williams (silver) won medals at Nanjing 2014 and will be heading to Rio 2016
Z – Zack Test: A lynchpin of the USA squad for the past five years and able to play as a forward or back, he was rewarded for his excellence in sevens with a place in the Eagles’ squad for RWC 2015
A-Z of Rugby Sevens was courtesy of World Rugby– ‘Rugby Sevens at Rio 2016 resource kit for Unions and Regions’.
“Main photo credit”