Sport Rugby

Saturday 10 December 2016

IRFU oblivious to the huge value of Sevens

Published 08/02/2012 | 05:00

The Olympic Sevens train continues to puff away with gay abandon -- and Ireland's collection of blazers are left struck in neutral.

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While the IRFU have been imprudently hasty to tell their public that there will be no more Doug Howletts or Isa Nacewas imported, their reluctance to engage with Sevens rugby remains astonishing.

The number of teams that will take part in each event in the World Series will increase for 2012-13 from the so-called 12 "core" sides to 15, the IRB announced yesterday.

"As we build towards Rio 2016 and our Olympic Games debut, it is important that opportunities exist for all nations to progress to core team status if they are good enough," said IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset (pictured above).

Still no Ireland. And where are the clever marketing types who should be pushing for the Aviva Stadium to hold a leg of the incredibly successful global Sevens series?

Instead, the folly of pursuing a Rugby World Cup hosting is being persisted with when an annual, global money-spinning extravaganza is staring Irish rugby in the face.

And anyone who declares that Sevens is a waste of money, a quick recall of the vast gulf in handling, tackling and evasion of the sides last Sunday at the Aviva is an urgent reminder of the need to improve the basic skill-sets of developing Irish players. dk

Irish Independent

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