Sevens into one

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Sevens into one

Post by R!skysports on Thu 25 May 2017, 8:50 pm


Discussions have taken place between the unions of England, Scotland and Wales, with a view to merging the teams on the Sevens World Series.

The proposed integration would take effect for the 2018-19 season.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/40052036


Personally I think this would be one of the most stupid decisions ever to be made in the world ever ever boxing

Ok, maybe not, but a terrible decision


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Re: Sevens into one

Post by Rugby Fan on Fri 26 May 2017, 1:55 am

The Unions have to decide what sevens is for. If Olympic gold is an important target, then playing more often as Team GB is what we need to do. Frankly, it's remarkable that Team GB managed a silver in Rio given how poor our preparation was. The final squad never had a chance to play a competitive match together until the tournament itself. It's not surprising that Amor leaned so heavily on an England core.

The only way to play together is to do so at the Sevens series. One idea might be to play as Team GB only in an Olympic year. However, that raises a few logistical issues.

Firstly, World Rugby would have to draft in two extra teams for just that year which could be a bit destabilizing. Would both then automatically be cut the following year? What if one of them has a good season?

Then the three unions would have to decide what to do with all the sevens players and coaching staff who don't make the Olympic squad. Pay them to do nothing?

Another option might be to make just nominate one of the national sides as Team GB. You could decide to choose whichever side performs best in the Olympic qualifying year (2018-9 season for Tokyo). You wouldn't want the Olympic year itself, because that's when you manage your players more sparingly with the tournament in mind. That's perhaps the least disruptive solution but I'm fairly certain it would be England every time.

This is a problem I don't think anyone really anticipated when rugby was accepted into the Olympics.

Whatever we do, something is going to lose out.

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Re: Sevens into one

Post by IanBru on Fri 26 May 2017, 9:25 am

I agree with your logic, Rugby fan, and it all certainly adds up. I just don't think that Olympic Gold should be the sport-defining objective in sevens. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love it, but I think it's crazy to set up our entire system over four years just to give us an extra 10% in competitiveness in one event.

You could also argue that reducing the player pool from 36 to 12 in each World Series will have a far more negative impact on the quality of players available to a Team GB coach in the lead up to the Olympics.

Then there's the history and the fans. People simply don't want it - if you look at the twitter responses, it's essentially all negative (sometimes vitriolic) from all three sets of fans.
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Re: Sevens into one

Post by Griff on Fri 26 May 2017, 9:31 am

Nah, keep them seperate and that then allows some 30 odd players regular exposure to top level 7s competition, rather than around 10 if we just had team GB. As mentioned before, it didn't do is much harm in the last Olympics. Although that may have been more luck than anything.

The Olympic 7s is 1 week or so every 4 years. Doesn't seem right to scrap 3 teams for that.

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Re: Sevens into one

Post by BigGee on Fri 26 May 2017, 9:42 am

This would be utter madness and from a Scottish perspective, would really knock off one of our major development pathways, which finally seems to be bearing some fruit.

For Scottish and Welsh fans, we just know we will get a poor share of the cake in a combined team in any case and we will just be left with another Lions scenario where everyone would be moaning about the make up of the squad.

Like it or not, in rugby, each nation supports its own team. We can just about get it together once every four years for Olympics and Lions tours, but otherwise it is a tribal festival and that is what makes it special.

I personally would rather Scotland dropped right out of Olympic consideration, as have our footballers and to leave that to the English than to give up our sevens team. I don't imagine that I am the only one who feels that way as well.

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Re: Sevens into one

Post by robbo277 on Fri 26 May 2017, 9:58 am

IanBru wrote:I agree with your logic, Rugby fan, and it all certainly adds up. I just don't think that Olympic Gold should be the sport-defining objective in sevens. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love it, but I think it's crazy to set up our entire system over four years just to give us an extra 10% in competitiveness in one event.

You could also argue that reducing the player pool from 36 to 12 in each World Series will have a far more negative impact on the quality of players available to a Team GB coach in the lead up to the Olympics.

Then there's the history and the fans. People simply don't want it - if you look at the twitter responses, it's essentially all negative (sometimes vitriolic) from all three sets of fans.

It's all negative from the three sets of fans, but other fans and other unions are seeing it as unfair and kicking up a stink. As mentioned, we have more players getting top level sevens players to pick from, and we're seen as having more chance of qualifying.

My understanding isn't that our unions are proposing it to increase their chances at the Olympics, but it is being looked at to answer some issues created by the Olympics and playing as Team GB.

There is no ideal solution and it will be a compromise.

I have no problem getting behind Team GB at the Olympics, and if we played as Team GB throughout the 7s circuit I'd have no problem supporting them. I know Scotland and Wales (more than England) use 7s to develop players for their 15-a-side teams and they might lose out on this to an extent. But the best players should still make the grade and play at an even higher standard.

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Re: Sevens into one

Post by EST on Fri 26 May 2017, 10:02 am

I'd agree BigGee. Scotland need it's sevens team to provide cruical exposure to pathway players. Horne, Bradbury, Miller, Nairn..thats four off the top of my head who have benefited in recent seasons. Adding to that, there are players like Lee Jones who have had their careers resuscitated by the 7's. It would be absolute madness if this were allowed to happen, all for the benefit of saving a few quid and adding to team GB's medal haul.

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Re: Sevens into one

Post by marty2086 on Fri 26 May 2017, 11:35 am

Would the best thing for it not to be to keep them separate and then use things like the World Games, Grand Prix Series and the like to prepare the GB team, theres a drop off in competition to an extent but it keeps the pathways open

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Re: Sevens into one

Post by robbo277 on Fri 26 May 2017, 12:45 pm

To add a little bit to the original BBC article:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/rugby-union/2017/05/23/england-scotland-wales-could-become-great-britain-sevens-merger/

Three things are mentioned. Olympics prep time, funding and also the attitudes of other unions.

It is also thought other nations are upset over Great Britain having a far greater chance of qualifying for the Olympics if they compete in the World Sevens Series as individual nations.

This does answer all three issues, while raising some new ones. It's a trade-off, but currently the qualification rules favour us.

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Re: Sevens into one

Post by The Great Aukster on Fri 26 May 2017, 12:58 pm

The question should be - why is there Sevens at all?

Sevens isn't really a good sport because single games only last 14 minutes, so while those 14 minutes are lung busting, it's not especially good exercise. The only way it can be run as a spectacle is in a tournament format which is fine for the world series and Olympics, and even then a player is maybe only getting 42 minutes spread over a day. So in effect unless someone can organise say 8 teams every week into a mini tournament it can never be taken up by the average person in the street and so never have a widespread support of fans who actually play the game.

In that respect Sevens is not like 5-a-side football that retains the skills of the main game but has reduced playing areas, goalsize and rules, nor is it like 20/20 cricket that has almost everything the same but is shortened into a spectator package. Either way both are accessible to the general public.

If Rugby needs a short form of the game (which is debatable) and be played on full-sized pitches, it really should have more players and be a longer format - say 10-a-side and 20 minutes per half.

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Re: Sevens into one

Post by Rugby Fan on Fri 26 May 2017, 1:36 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:Sevens isn't really a good sport because single games only last 14 minutes, so while those 14 minutes are lung busting, it's not especially good exercise. The only way it can be run as a spectacle is in a tournament format which is fine for the world series and Olympics, and even then a player is maybe only getting 42 minutes spread over a day. So in effect unless someone can organise say 8 teams every week into a mini tournament it can never be taken up by the average person in the street and so never have a widespread support of fans who actually play the game.
The average sumo bout lasts seconds. The only way to watch top level sumo is in a tournament format run over 14 days. It's still one of the most popular sports in Japan.

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Re: Sevens into one

Post by IanBru on Fri 26 May 2017, 2:39 pm

"You can prove anything with facts, can't you?"
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Re: Sevens into one

Post by The Great Aukster on Fri 26 May 2017, 10:04 pm

Is there a Sumo World Cup?

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Re: Sevens into one

Post by The Great Aukster on Fri 26 May 2017, 10:07 pm

Maybe Sumo is the sort of sport that should get some lottery funding? Rather than try to reduce the clinically obese, Western Nations should embrace the 'sport' instead.

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Re: Sevens into one

Post by Hazel Sapling on Fri 26 May 2017, 11:46 pm

I can see why other nations complain though the alternative for them is a larger budget and playing pool being available to a top tier team.

Two solutions that come to mind
- Play a GB team at the highest level and keep a Wales, Scotland and England team in the tier below
- GB team goes and plays in the grand prix leading up. The top ranking team from a year before acts as the qualifying hope for the Olympics year (i.e. it would be England if qualifying was next year based on this years results)

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Re: Sevens into one

Post by Rugby Fan on Sat 27 May 2017, 12:11 am

Hazel Sapling wrote:I can see why other nations complain though the alternative for them is a larger budget and playing pool being available to a top tier team.

Two solutions that come to mind
- Play a GB team at the highest level and keep a Wales, Scotland and England team in the tier below
- GB team goes and plays in the grand prix leading up. The top ranking team from a year before acts as the qualifying hope for the Olympics year (i.e. it would be England if qualifying was next year based on this years results)
You can't really keep the other teams in a level below. Teams aim to be promoted from the lower tiers, so it would defeat their purpose. It would also be a kick in the teeth for the three smaller European sides which would have to make way for them.

The other proposal sounds similar the one I mentioned above. The difficulty is that it would be more expensive than the current arrangement, which is an issue for all three unions.

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