With much less contact and combined gender groups, contact rugby affords some extent of distinction to sevens. However wouldn’t it lower the mustard within the Olympics? Learn our Face-off debate
Might contact exchange sevens within the Olympics?
YES, says the chief government of England Contact
“The final word aspiration for the Olympics is completely there. One massive draw is that contact, within the structured sense, has a variety of completely different age teams, so you’re transferring right through from youth to over-50s.
“However the massive one is the inclusivity from a gender perspective; the combined sport with three males and three girls on the pitch on the similar time is completely different from most different workforce sports activities and for any code of rugby. That’s the actual enchantment.
“Contact isn’t going to be knowledgeable sport and that’s the pleasure of it. It goes to the center of the Olympic, accessible ethos. Sevens is an outstanding sport however hasn’t made the influence that I anticipated. The variety of individuals enjoying hasn’t elevated that a lot through the years and it feels prefer it has been marginalised a bit, whereas contact can present an entry degree for anyone who would possibly wish to choose up an oval ball.
“They will complement one another however the problem from an Olympic perspective is that the 2 video games are fairly shut, so do you’ve got one or the opposite?
“The combined model is a distinction and you could possibly see that enjoying a job within the Olympics or Commonwealth Video games. They’ve combined triathlons and swimming relays, and that’s the place contact may play a job. There may be minimal contact and it’s protected to play in these environments.
“The aspiration is the Olympics and 2032 in Brisbane is a perfect goal. Australia is the house of contact however different nations are closing – there are 51 international locations within the worldwide federation. In the event you take a look at the worldwide attain, it’s got enormous potential.”
NO, says the previous England Sevens captain
“With all the warmth that rugby has obtained these days with inclusivity and concussion, I wouldn’t wish to be that one that’s set of their methods and says they might by no means do this. I like contact, with its technique and motion, nevertheless it wouldn’t actually really feel like rugby for me.
“It could imply rugby would nonetheless have a spot within the Olympics and it’s extra inclusive. However the idea of a contact is troublesome and subjective. A sort out is a sort out and apparent.
“The Olympic carrot is essential and when you lose it you go from being perceived as a majority sport to a minority sport.
“However sevens has to up its recreation. They’ve missed a chance to do extra with the sport – there was an actual alternative, with the Olympic carrot, for them to tear up the script and revamp the game.
“The problem is that the game is sensible in isolation however tournaments are far too lengthy, lasting from 8am to 8pm, and no fan goes to remain and comply with that. There must be extra jeopardy, you lose and you’re out, however some international locations may not play as a result of that makes it onerous to justify a four-year spend.
“You don’t must have the identical guidelines as 15s. You can usher in specialist drop-kickers or energy performs. Or you could possibly have specialist scoring zones – when you kick in entrance of the posts you get one level however from the midway line it’s 5. You can have a captain’s problem on the pitch. Why not combine it up? There’s a actual alternative to issues in another way.”
Face-off: Might contact exchange sevens within the Olympics? We wish to know what YOU suppose. E mail your views to rugbyworldletters@futurenet
This debate first appeared within the September 2023 problem of Rugby World