The countdown to Rio is continuing at pace for Great Britain’s rugby players after details of the sevens programme for the 2016 Games was announced.
England were nominated ahead of the recently completed season as the designated home nations team to contest qualification – something they successfully achieved with top-four finishes in the respective Sevens World Series.
Players will however be selected from across England, Wales and Scotland with Great Britain Rugby Sevens Limited now officially ratified by the British Olympic Association and World Rugby.
Joe Lydon, head of international player development for the Rugby Football Union, will lead the programme as performance manager, with Great Britain Rugby Sevens supported by the Rugby Football Union, Welsh Rugby Union and Scottish Rugby Union.
“We are delighted to formally welcome Great Britain Rugby Sevens Limited to our National Olympic Committee and British Olympic Family,” said Lord Seb Coe, chairman of the British Olympic Association.
“We very much look forward to supporting rugby sevens and their athletes on their journey to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.”
In order to be eligible for selection, athletes must have played in at least one of the World Rugby International World Sevens Series, Rugby Europe International Sevens tournaments or Invitation preparation tournament in the 14-month period prior to Rio.
Outside the tournaments, the main preparation with the players as a wider squad will begin from next month through a series of training camps, with a final squad of 12 players selected in July 2016.
A recruitment process is also currently underway for the coaching roles for each of the men’s and women’s sides.
© Sportsbeat 2015