Rio Olympic Sevens Womens August 6-8th Mens 9-11th

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Post by Rugby Fan on Wed 29 Jun 2016, 2:08 pm

First topic message reminder :

Men’s draw

Pool A: Fiji, USA, Argentina, Brazil

Pool B: South Africa, Australia, France, Spain

Pool C: New Zealand, Great Britain, Kenya, Japan

Women’s draw

Pool A: Australia, USA, Fiji, Colombia

Pool B: New Zealand, France, Spain, Kenya

Pool C: Canada, Great Britain, Brazil, Japan

Twelve teams start the tournament, and pool play reduces this to eight for a quarter final round. The top two teams automatically qualify, along with the two best losers.

In the Men's draw, Brazil, Spain and Japan look most likely to finish out of the running but Spain did beat Samoa, so a turn-up is very possible. NZ, Fiji and South Africa will almost certainly qualify, but the other team to miss the cut could be any of the other six

The quarter finals will match up as follows for both Mens and Womens:

Winner pool A vs Second best 3rd place finish
Runner-up pool B vs Runner-up pool C
Winner pool B vs Best 3rd place finish
Winner pool C vs Runner-up pool A

If you go by form, that could look something like this in the Mens:

Fiji vs Argentina
Australia vs Great Britain
South Africa vs Kenya
New Zealand vs USA

The quarters, semis and final will all be played on the 11th August.


Last edited by Rugby Fan on Fri 05 Aug 2016, 2:26 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by RDW on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 8:29 am

Would be disappointing if he ignored Welsh and particularly Scots who are on red hot form for the sake of familiarity!

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Post by whocares on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 10:28 am

Rugby Fan wrote:
France lost to Spain, which means they won't win the series title. Spain, of course, qualified for Rio by beating Samoa, so they will be chuffed with that scalp.

to put things into context, this was the France 7s "development" team. they even went on to loose against Italy after. The Olympics are at home training. Not sure rugby Europe tournaments provide the right opposition to team GB(s) to be honest.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 11:06 am

whocares wrote:
Rugby Fan wrote:
France lost to Spain, which means they won't win the series title. Spain, of course, qualified for Rio by beating Samoa, so they will be chuffed with that scalp.

to put things into context, this was the France 7s "development" team. they even went on to loose against Italy after. The Olympics are at home training. Not sure rugby Europe tournaments provide the right opposition to team GB(s) to be honest.
I agree. The standard of rugby hasn't been great, which doesn't say a lot for both GB teams, given they generally struggled to make an impact.

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Post by George Carlin on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 12:26 pm

RDW_Scotland wrote:Would be disappointing if he ignored Welsh and particularly Scots who are on red hot form for the sake of familiarity!
There's an analogy to the usual B&I Lions selection process here somewhere... Whistle
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Post by aucklandlaurie on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 12:44 pm

George Carlin wrote:
RDW_Scotland wrote:Would be disappointing if he ignored Welsh and particularly Scots who are on red hot form for the sake of familiarity!
There's an analogy to the usual B&I Lions selection process here somewhere... Whistle

Aw Jeez, here we go again.

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Post by lostinwales on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 1:06 pm

I thought the selection process was based on who is left standing?

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Post by Rugby Fan on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 3:03 pm

To be honest, I don't think many players can claim to have been "red hot" over the last few months, so it's unlikely that there'll be any real selection travesties.

In fifteen-a-side, you could conceivably select a team based on who you think is the best player in each position, and then put them all together. It's not an ideal method, but you might get away with it now and again.

That absolutely doesn't work in sevens. As soon as you've put one or two names down on the sheet, your subsequent selections must be coloured by those initial decisions. Choose a short guy over a tall guy, and you must find a tall guy somewhere else.




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Post by Rugby Fan on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 4:37 pm

USA Squad:

Perry Baker
Danny Barrett
Garrett Bender
Andrew Durutalo
Nate Ebner
Madison Hughes
Carlin Isles
Folau Niua
Ben Pinkelman
Zack Test
Maka Unufe
Chris Wyles

Nat Ebner is the NFL convert, while Chris Wyles is a Saracens regular.

http://www.usarugby.org/2016/07/usa-rugby-names-2016-u-s-olympic-mens-rugby-team/#FOHOTAk4Cc6o8mff.97

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Post by George Carlin on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 7:19 pm

aucklandlaurie wrote:
George Carlin wrote:
RDW_Scotland wrote:Would be disappointing if he ignored Welsh and particularly Scots who are on red hot form for the sake of familiarity!
There's an analogy to the usual B&I Lions selection process here somewhere... Whistle

Aw Jeez, here we go again.
Laugh
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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 9:54 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:USA Squad:

Perry Baker
Danny Barrett
Garrett Bender
Andrew Durutalo
Nate Ebner
Madison Hughes
Carlin Isles
Folau Niua
Ben Pinkelman
Zack Test
Maka Unufe
Chris Wyles

Nat Ebner is the NFL convert, while Chris Wyles is a Saracens regular.

http://www.usarugby.org/2016/07/usa-rugby-names-2016-u-s-olympic-mens-rugby-team/#FOHOTAk4Cc6o8mff.97

Technically Nate Ebner is a returnee as he played for the full USA Sevens team while still at high school and participated in both the 2007 and 2008 JWCs.

Carlin Isles of course is fast. Fast enough to have interested Glasgow Warriors - but his short stay did not include actually playing for the soap dodgers (would that be a valid insult?)

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Post by Rugby Fan on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 1:10 am

Forgot to include the Fiji squad announcement (which was made by the Prime Minister)

Osea Kolinisau (captain), Apisai Domolailai, Jasa Veremalua, Josua Tuisova, Kitione Taliga, Leone Nakarawa, Samisoni Viriviri, Savenaca Rawaca, Semi Kunatani, Vatemo Ravouvou, Viliame Mata, Jerry Tuwai. Traveling reserve: Masivesi Dakuwaqa.

Former Glasgow player Leone Nakarawa made the cut.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-3693274/Fijis-prime-minister-names-rugby-squad-Olympic-sevens.html

Also Kenya:

Oscar Ouma, Dennis Ombach, Bush Mwale, Collins Injera, Oscar Ayodi, Augustine Lugonzo, Billy Odhiambo, Humphrey Kayange, Biko Adema, Andrew Amonde, Sammy Oliech, and Willy Ambaka.

http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/sports/article/2000208867/biko-back-in-7s-squad-ouma-also-named-in-12-man-team-bound-for-rio-olympic-games

Japan is in the same group as GB, and they've named the following squad:

Kameli Seojima, Yusaku Kuwazuru (captain), Lote Tuqiri, Katsuyuki Sakai, Shohei Toyoshima, Lomano Lemeki , Masakatsu Hikosaka, Kazushi Hano, Teruya Goto, Yoshitaka Tokunaga, Kenki Fukuoka, Kazuhiro Goya.

(NB: that's not the Lote Tuqiri who used to play for Australia)

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Post by Rugby Fan on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 10:04 am

Team GB

1 Mark Robertson
2 Alex Davis
3 Phil Burgess
4 Dan Norton
5 James Rodwell
6 Tom Mitchell
7 Dan Bibby
8 James Davies
9 Ollie Lindsay-Hague
10 Sam Cross
11 Marcus Watson
12 Mark Bennett

Travelling reserves:

13. Luke Treharne
14. Ruaridh McConnochie

http://www.englandrugby.com/news/team-men-announce-olympics-sevens-squad/

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Post by RDW on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 10:06 am

Really disappointed to only see 2 Scots in there - we were the form GB team at the end of the season, and beat England a few times at the end of the season.

No surprise though with an English coach and the plan of picking players based on familiarity.

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Post by beshocked on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 10:22 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:Really disappointed to only see 2 Scots in there - we were the form GB team at the end of the season, and beat England a few times at the end of the season.

No surprise though with an English coach and the plan of picking players based on familiarity.

That's two more than you would have then if it was Lions selection..... Whistle At least the two of them might get a game.... OK

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Post by lostinwales on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 10:26 am

And remember its a team game so its not always a question of the best players being picked so much as who the coach thinks will be the best fit for his team.

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Post by RDW on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 10:28 am

How many Welsh are in there?

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Post by Rugby Fan on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 10:36 am

The only player in either GB team over the last month who has looked like lightning in a bottle, is Ollie Lindsay-Hague, so I'm pleased space has been found for him.
RDW_Scotland wrote:How many Welsh are in there?
James Davies and Sam Cross.

Luke Treharne is a travelling reserve.


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Post by propdavid_london on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 11:57 am

GB Women’s Rugby squad

1. Claire Allan

2. Abbie Brown

3. Alice Richardson (VC)

4. Emily Scarratt (C)

5. Danielle Waterman

6. Katy Mclean

7. Heather Fisher

8. Emily Scott

9. Natasha Hunt

10. Joanne Watmore

11. Jasmine Joyce

12. Amy Wilson-Hardy

Reserves

13. Megan Jones

14. Kay Wilson

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Post by propdavid_london on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 11:59 am

Women's team looks mostly to be English - might have missed one or 2 but there are at least 9 that I know to be in the England 7s set up

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Post by Poorfour on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 12:19 pm

According to the Beeb only Jasmin Joyce (Wales) is non-English in the women's squad. It probably makes sense given that the England split their 7s and and 15s squad last year (IIRC) so that the players could focus on Olympic prep - not sure any other women's setup is strong enough to do that.

Looks like the men's squad has two Welshmen, two Scots and the rest English. Most of the names are more familiar to me from 7s apart from Ollie Lindsay-Hague, who's been slowly converting to a 15s player at Quins - I hope the experience of having less space to play in benefits him as he goes back to 7s.
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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 12:42 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:Team GB


12 Mark Bennett



Glad to see what was a major gamble pay off for the lad.

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Post by George Carlin on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 2:54 pm

I just want to thank Rugby Lad for his updates on this thread - much appreciated. 

There is a slightly flat feeling when looking at that GB squad. I have taken the time to watch all of the highlights (which I realise is not the same as watching the complete matches) from the recent tournaments and a number of these Englishmen are not the form choices when you consider the squad as a whole. 

But it's the coach's choice, of course. If he believes that the kernel of the team which he knows so well has the stuff to win the whole thing, then that's his call. As with all judgement calls, he has given everyone an enormous stick to beat him with if that side does not perform as the shout from many quarters will inevitably be that he did not choose objectively and to not have his squad play a full match together before the Olympics starts was self defeating from the outset. 

Best of luck to everyone involved, though. Delighted that this is an Olympic sport.
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Post by George Carlin on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 2:57 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
Rugby Fan wrote:Team GB


12 Mark Bennett



Glad to see what was a major gamble pay off for the lad.
Yes indeed, although I would have been delighted to see him return to Glasgow for pre-season training too. 

Bennett was probably Scotland's best player in the Commonwealth Games 7s in 2014 and from what I've seen, he's really improved his 7s game since then. 

He is a class act and I'm delighted he's been chosen. Will be a bit odd for him running out against his mate Leone Nakarawa, mind you...
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Post by beshocked on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 3:01 pm

To be honest George Carlin I think the lack of expectation for this GB squad could help them.

I don't think anyone is expecting Britain to do well. With the pressure less, maybe they'll surprise.

Need to channel the underdog spirit.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 3:15 pm

Mike Friday has criticized the way Team GB was put together, specifically the lack of high profile 15-a-side players. He thinks converting them isn't such a big deal, despite the inability of Habana, Messam and Quade Cooper to make the cut. He said:

"The fact that Quade Cooper or Bryan Habana did not make it doesn’t prove anything. There’s a six to ten week conditioning period and then it is about whether they have the footballing ability to play sevens. That’s what it comes down to."

Chris Wyles is in his USA squad and, if the Saracens man shows up well in Rio, then Friday will have made his point, since he played a full Premiership season. Wyles is no sevens novice, mind you. He captained USA sevens before making an impact in the longer code at Premiership and international level.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/rugby-union/2016/07/19/team-gbs-star-free-olympic-sevens-side-slammed-by-us-head-coach/

Tom Hamilton of ESPN is also wistful about who might have made an impact if the players and clubs had been given the right incentives. He has this to say about the actual squad, and it's the only analysis I've so far seen of Amor's selections:

Amor has largely gone for the tried and tested instead of rolling the dice. It is an England-dominated selection, too, with eight making the cut alongside two from Scotland and a Welsh duo.

Fiji are the team to beat and they pack the most potent cocktail of power, pace, prowess and precision; Team GB perhaps lack in physicality and may struggle in the aerial battle.

James Rodwell, Mark Robertson and Sam Cross' inclusions are key in the latter area but if they get injured then they will lack replacements in the camp. Similarly, they will struggle in the attritional areas and will look to Phil Burgess for over-the-ball pinching to counter physicality.

Of those omitted, Luke Treharne will feel the most hard done by. Then there's Cory Allen, the Wales centre, who attempted to force his way into contention but left his charge too late, and Joe Simpson, who was ruled out through injury.

There is an element of uneasiness about Team GB's prospects -- the poor form of England and Wales in last season's Sevens Series saw them fall off the crowded pedestal of favourites -- but in skipper Tom Mitchell, there is hope.

He is fiercely talented and one of the best playmakers gracing the circuit. His ability to spot space will give Team GB a point of difference. His experience is also invaluable and that is one area the team will not be found wanting in.

The lack of wildcards means they are all well drilled in the short-form of the game and have it running through their DNA.

But while they are a group who know Sevens like the back of their respective hands, they will only have had a limited number of tournaments together. Team GB have only played in four competitions as a unit, and then they were split across two teams.

Compare that to their competitors, who have had an entire Series as a group and Team GB seem to be at a disadvantage.

Amor's 12-man squad is the just about the best he could have assembled given his situation. They won't go to Rio as favourites but the pressure of an Olympic Games can do strange things to medal-chasers.


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Post by Tattie Scones RRN on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 4:27 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:Mike Friday has criticized the way Team GB was put together, specifically the lack of high profile 15-a-side players. He thinks converting them isn't such a big deal, despite the inability of Habana, Messam and Quade Cooper to make the cut. He said:

"The fact that Quade Cooper or Bryan Habana did not make it doesn’t prove anything. There’s a six to ten week conditioning period and then it is about whether they have the footballing ability to play sevens. That’s what it comes down to."

Chris Wyles is in his USA squad and, if the Saracens man shows up well in Rio, then Friday will have made his point, since he played a full Premiership season.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/rugby-union/2016/07/19/team-gbs-star-free-olympic-sevens-side-slammed-by-us-head-coach/

Tom Hamilton of ESPN is also wistful about who might have made an impact if the players and clubs had been given the right incentives. He has this to say about the actual squad, and it's the only analysis I've so far seen of Amor's selections:

Amor has largely gone for the tried and tested instead of rolling the dice. It is an England-dominated selection, too, with eight making the cut alongside two from Scotland and a Welsh duo.

Fiji are the team to beat and they pack the most potent cocktail of power, pace, prowess and precision; Team GB perhaps lack in physicality and may struggle in the aerial battle.

James Rodwell, Mark Robertson and Sam Cross' inclusions are key in the latter area but if they get injured then they will lack replacements in the camp. Similarly, they will struggle in the attritional areas and will look to Phil Burgess for over-the-ball pinching to counter physicality.

Of those omitted, Luke Treharne will feel the most hard done by. Then there's Cory Allen, the Wales centre, who attempted to force his way into contention but left his charge too late, and Joe Simpson, who was ruled out through injury.

There is an element of uneasiness about Team GB's prospects -- the poor form of England and Wales in last season's Sevens Series saw them fall off the crowded pedestal of favourites -- but in skipper Tom Mitchell, there is hope.

He is fiercely talented and one of the best playmakers gracing the circuit. His ability to spot space will give Team GB a point of difference. His experience is also invaluable and that is one area the team will not be found wanting in.

The lack of wildcards means they are all well drilled in the short-form of the game and have it running through their DNA.

But while they are a group who know Sevens like the back of their respective hands, they will only have had a limited number of tournaments together. Team GB have only played in four competitions as a unit, and then they were split across two teams.

Compare that to their competitors, who have had an entire Series as a group and Team GB seem to be at a disadvantage.

Amor's 12-man squad is the just about the best he could have assembled given his situation. They won't go to Rio as favourites but the pressure of an Olympic Games can do strange things to medal-chasers.

Aye.....course it is.

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Post by beshocked on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 4:40 pm

Chris Wyles has captained USA 7s before though and helped them become an established 7s side so the transition from 15s to 7s shouldn't be hard for him.

He's even 8th on their list of top try scorers in 7s.

I expect he's in the USA squad to add a bit of experience.

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Post by Welly on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 7:14 pm

I mean the trouble with Team GB getting XV players is that not many put their hands up for it.

Tp think of two big names who could of made the squad
Wade wanted to give himself a better position with England and play for the Saxons
Hogg picked XV's over 7's this summer



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Post by Rugby Fan on Thu 21 Jul 2016, 2:41 am

Welly wrote:I mean the trouble with Team GB getting XV players is that not many put their hands up for it.
I think Mike Friday has a good point in this sense: it shouldn't have been solely down to the players to drive the process.

Some players hinted they'd be interested if they got an approach but you could tell that no-one was really sure whether to openly declare in case that jeopardized their chances at progressing with the national 15-a-side team.

In the end, Amor decided to approach only those players with a sevens pedigree, and only Mark Bennett, Joe Simpson and Cory Allen were in the frame for summer touring. It's uncertain how he would have handled it if someone like Wade or North put their hand up in May.

He may well have just turned them down. Amor disagrees with Friday about converting players and you have to say that the evidence is so far on Amor's side. Friday may be right that this year's converts were just not up to it, but we won't be able to say for certain until we see more successful converts like Sonny Bill Williams.

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Post by Poorfour on Thu 21 Jul 2016, 7:12 am

Welly wrote:I mean the trouble with Team GB getting XV players is that not many put their hands up for it.

Tp think of two big names who could of made the squad
Wade wanted to give himself a better position with England and play for the Saxons
Hogg picked XV's over 7's this summer



Clifford was invited to join the 7s squad and would have made an excellent addition, but it would have meant dropping out of the tour to Australia, which at this stage of his international career and with Eddie in charge would have been a dangerous thing to do.
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Post by George Carlin on Thu 21 Jul 2016, 7:36 am

Rugby Fan wrote:
Welly wrote:I mean the trouble with Team GB getting XV players is that not many put their hands up for it.
I think Mike Friday has a good point in this sense: it shouldn't have been solely down to the players to drive the process.

Some players hinted they'd be interested if they got an approach but you could tell that no-one was really sure whether to openly declare in case that jeopardized their chances at progressing with the national 15-a-side team.

In the end, Amor decided to approach only those players with a sevens pedigree, and only Mark Bennett, Joe Simpson and Cory Allen were in the frame for summer touring. It's uncertain how he would have handled it if someone like Wade or North put their hand up in May.

He may well have just turned them down. Amor disagrees with Friday about converting players and you have to say that the evidence is so far on Amor's side. Friday may be right that this year's converts were just not up to it, but we won't be able to say for certain until we see more successful converts like Sonny Bill Williams.
Yes, it's important to note that all of the '15s' players chosen for the GB squad also have a good background in 7s. 

It's also not true to say that by and large 15s players are better than their 7s colleagues. The game is specialist and a lot of players don't adapt well. 

There are some outliers - Glasgow's favourite son Leone Nakarawa is in the Fiji squad - he hasn't played much 7s but he's such an attacking player that it shouldn't make much difference.
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Post by IanBru on Thu 21 Jul 2016, 12:38 pm

Welly wrote:I mean the trouble with Team GB getting XV players is that not many put their hands up for it.

Tp think of two big names who could of made the squad
Wade wanted to give himself a better position with England and play for the Saxons
Hogg picked XV's over 7's this summer
Not quite true, as I understand it - Hogg is due to get married in August, so he was already committed. In any case, with the Lions tour, Commonwealth Games and then RWC training in successive summers, this is his first summer off since he started in international rugby in 2012.
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Post by Rugby Fan on Thu 28 Jul 2016, 4:42 pm

Nick Cain in the Rugby Paper is scathing about the Team GB sevens effort.

http://www.therugbypaper.co.uk/features/columnists/nick-cain/26423/nick-cain-column-englands-u20-stars-would-thrive-at-rio-olympics/

To be honest, I'm fed up with top rugby journalists chiming in on the sevens circuit because it's clear they know very little about it.

My own view is that Team GBs preparation for Rio has been disastrous. Sevens is fickle enough that we still have a chance of a medal but it would be a bit like England making the World Cup final in 2007: a triumph of bloodymindedness over talent and organization.

In theory, then, I should be onside with Cain but he just takes random potshots. He's in favour of Team GB having more established 15-a-side stars but ignores the fact most other sides won't have them either.

Even if you take it as read that 15-a-side stars should be there, you still have to say when they should have been involved. Sonny Bill Williams went straight from the World Cup to sevens. A Welsh, Scottish or English player doing that would need to skip his domestic season, the Six Nations, and any summer tour.

I'm sure there is a way to provide every interested party - players, clubs and unions - the right incentives to support the Team GB effort. However, even if you do arrange for North, Hogg & Wade to play sevens full-time after the World Cup, they will do so for three different teams. If Wales, Scotland and England all call in their top 15-a-side prospects then a lot will end up wasting a year, because not all can fit into one squad.

Cain makes it worse by suggesting that top U20s prospects should have been given a chance because they are mostly riding the pine for their clubs. This is daft. There are a limited number of playing opportunities in the sevens series so you can't just throw every name into the mix.

The only way to have joined-up thinking about our sevens effort is to compete as Team GB in the series before the Olympics. Do that, however, and it's likely other countries will argue that we should qualify and compete as Team GB exclusively, which would be the death of separate sevens programmes in England, Scotland & Wales.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat 30 Jul 2016, 4:51 am

Good piece in Sport Magazine on how Team GB Sevens came together.

http://sport-magazine.co.uk/features/how-build-team-six-weeks-0

Dan Howells is overseeing strength and conditioning. GPS packs are worn for training, monitoring accelerations and speeds as well as distance covered. Mirroring match intensity, on-pitch sessions constitute a 20 per cent share of “high-speed running”, regarded as anything over 18km/h.

“In any single game, you’re looking at travelling around 1.5km,” Howells explains. “Around 22-24 per cent of that, just over 300m, is high-speed running. So over six matches in a tournament, you’ve got 1.8km of high-speed running.”

By comparison, an elite 15s match would typically see outside backs cover 6-7km with 500m of high-speed running – a far lower percentage.

Heptathlete Denise Lewis talked with squad. She pointed out that the Olympic athletes village has free food and "you could throw away four years of training in a week", by overindulging.

Although the team was officially announced on the 19th, Amor broke the news to the players before the final round of preparation matches. That must have been hard on those not selected.

The writer thinks Welshman Luke Treharne stood out in the warm-up games, which I agree with. You don't wish injury on anyone but he wouldn't let Team GB down if called up to the squad from the reserve bench.

There's a short Rugby World podcast discussing the subject.

https://soundcloud.com/rugby-world/sevens-heaven-for-team-gb

It's a fair assessment of the state of play for Team GB sevens. The podcasters also think it would have made more sense for Team GB to have been competing as one side at the HSBC sevens.

They also concede that England's poor sevens season was largely down to injury and Amor's pre-Olympic experimentation, but do think the form shown by Scottish players should have been better rewarded. In the end, there's sympathy for Amor not really having enough time to switch his preferences. They also mention that the selection of England's Alex Davis has drawn some press criticism but he probably was one of he stand-out performers from the final group.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 12:47 am

The World Rugby 7s twitter account is putting out information about players and teams at Rio.

https://twitter.com/WorldRugby7s

Team GB players have their own twitter accounts but they haven't said much since arriving in Rio. Mostly photos on instagram.

Tom Mitchell https://twitter.com/TBobbyMitchell
James Davies https://twitter.com/cubbyboi
Dan Norton https://twitter.com/dan_norton
Marcus Watson https://twitter.com/MarcusWatson11
Dan Bibby https://twitter.com/dbibby15
Sam Cross https://twitter.com/SCrossy
Phil Burgess https://twitter.com/Philip__Burgess
Mark Robertson https://twitter.com/marky_robertson
Alex Davis https://twitter.com/ajldavis03
Mark Bennett https://twitter.com/MarkSBBennett
James Rodwell https://twitter.com/James_Rodwell
Ollie Lindsay-Hague https://twitter.com/O_LindsayHague

Luke Treharne https://twitter.com/LukeTreharne
Ruaridh McConnochie https://twitter.com/ruaridhmcc

Strength & Conditioning coach Dan Howells might be one to watch, since he's overseeing their preparation.

https://twitter.com/HowellsDan

Apologies for saying nothing about Team GB womens sevens, as I know so little about them. Will post any interesting links if I find them.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Thu 04 Aug 2016, 6:22 am

First casualty: Alex Davis is out of the Olympics after injuring his ankle in training. Ruaridh McConnochie steps up to the main squad, and Charlie Hayter has been called in to replace him as travelling reserve.

http://www.skysports.com/rugby-union/news/12321/10521765/ruaridh-mcconnochie-to-replace-alex-davis-in-team-gb-rugby-sevens-squad

Specialist Sevens website predicts medallists as:

Gold - Fiji
Silver - NZ
Bronze - Australia

Writer sees GB making the quarter finals but then losing to Australia, because the men in gold have played together more.

http://ur7s.com/news/rio-olympics-rugby-7s-mens-tournament-preview-who-will-medal

In Rio, Sonny Bill Williams apparently ruffled the feathers of the Australia press by declining their request for an interview. He'd just done a press conference alongside the NZ team in front of the world's media so I don't think it necessarily counts as a snub.

http://www.smh.com.au/sport/olympics/rio-2016/rio-olympics-2016-sevens-star-sonny-bill-williams-snubs-australian-media-20160803-gqkjox.html

Incidentally, I need to correct the dates in the initial post, because the women's tournament kicks off this weekend. GB will play Brazil and Japan first, and then follow up with Canada.

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Post by George Carlin on Thu 04 Aug 2016, 4:15 pm

Keep up with the posts Rugby Fan - much appreciated. 

Incidentally, where do you think that we will place in the tournament?
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Post by Rugby Fan on Thu 04 Aug 2016, 5:53 pm

George Carlin wrote:Incidentally, where do you think that we will place in the tournament?
I've got almost the same view as Tom Burwell of ur7s.com. The quarter final line-up I suggested at the bottom of the original post is like his, except he thinks France will get a best 3rd place ahead of Kenya.

A 2nd place pool finish for GB ought to put as up against Australia. Burwell thinks we'll lose that one, but they are probably the only leading team we might be able to take, because they don't have the power of Fiji, SA or NZ. If the players regain top form, then I think we'll do it. Unless there's an upset elsewhere, though, we'll probably lose the semi, and also the bronze medal match as we don't generally show well against the other three.

Team GB got automatic Olympic entry because England finished 4th during the qualifying season. I think 4th is our best realistic hope.

Having said that, sevens isn't a crap shoot, but even the top teams usually slip up against a real underdog at least once during the Sevens series. There's going to be a different kind of pressure at the Olympics because you can't make up for a bad match the following week. Very few of the players on any team will have experienced that kind of environment. Blunders will occur, and injuries too. It's quite possible a team could end up without a full squad complement by the last matches of the tournament, which will be a big disadvantage.

If Fiji slip up against likely QF opponents Argentina, then we'll face the South Americans if we win our QF. That's one we could win, which would guarantee a medal. I can certainly envisage a route for GB to get even gold but it would rely on a lot of luck. On the flipside, a loss to Kenya in the pool matches is very possible, and I think that would doom us to an early exit.

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Post by ChequeredJersey on Fri 05 Aug 2016, 9:00 am

You need a full season of 7s to get the conditioning right for it by most accounts, Mike Friday is well off I think
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Post by Rugby Fan on Fri 05 Aug 2016, 4:03 pm

Teddy Stanaway is also out of the NZ squad. Lewis Ormond takes his place, and Liam Messam steps up to a travelling replacement role.

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Post by Welly on Fri 05 Aug 2016, 10:31 pm

In my perfect world the Mens would go like this
Gold: fiji
Sliver: GB
Bronze: USA

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat 06 Aug 2016, 1:20 am

Former England sevens captain Rob Vickerman will be on the 5live commentary team. His twitter feed has some good Olympic sevens coverage.

https://twitter.com/robvickerman

He thinks both Team GB sides have a chance of a medal but he's more optimistic for the women. I get the impression his head says the men won't be on the podium but his heart has him hoping for the best.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat 06 Aug 2016, 3:13 pm

After the first half of rugby played at the Olympics since its return, France lead Spain 12-0 in the Womens Sevens.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat 06 Aug 2016, 3:23 pm

Final result: 24-7 to France.

Doubt I'll be watching all the matches, but that one seemed worth noting, as the Olympic debut of rugby sevens, and the return of the sport to the Olympic schedule.

GB are third up after NZ take on Kenya. We've got the hosts, Brazil, as our first match.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat 06 Aug 2016, 3:36 pm

A bit of Olympic history in the second match. NZ player has been yellow-carded for a dangerous tackle, the first ever in rugby at the Olympics/ GB referee.

NZ scored a second try while they were a player down, so we probably aren't looking at an upset.


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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat 06 Aug 2016, 3:42 pm

NZ went to 21-0 and then picked up a second yellow card. I would wonder if they have a side bet on somewhere, but someone might take it seriously.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat 06 Aug 2016, 4:01 pm

Kenya didn't score, so it's hard to gauge how the crowd will get behind an underdog. We'll find out if Brazil take it to GB.

Temperature in Rio is 29 degrees, and 36% humidity. In four years time, this will be played in Tokyo, where temperatures are 33 degrees and 98% humidity.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat 06 Aug 2016, 4:07 pm

Joanne Watmore scores the first try for Team GB at the Olympics.

We were under the cosh there for the opening minutes, so I hope that settles us down.

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Post by Welly on Sat 06 Aug 2016, 4:10 pm

GB with a nervy start Brazil certainly look like they could have the potential to do well in the future though just lack that skill set ATM.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat 06 Aug 2016, 4:11 pm

GB's first half ends 7-3 as Brazil elected to kick a late penalty.

GB on defence for most of that half, so they'll need to step up.

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