| 5.6°C Dublin

Ireland captain Billy Dardis commits to Paris sevens project after ‘bitter pill’ of Tokyo Games

Close

Irish sevens captain Billy Dardis at the official announcement of Allianz's three-year partnership with the Olympic Federation of Ireland. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Irish sevens captain Billy Dardis at the official announcement of Allianz's three-year partnership with the Olympic Federation of Ireland. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Irish sevens captain Billy Dardis at the official announcement of Allianz's three-year partnership with the Olympic Federation of Ireland. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Now that he’s had some time to process the events of last summer, Billy Dardis is beginning to understand what went wrong for him and his sevens side in Tokyo.

The captain’s interview after the team had qualified in Monaco a month out from the Olympics spoke volumes for what it meant to the players who rose from the bottom of the ladder to the pinnacle of their sporting lives, and he believes it was too much for them to peak twice in such a short space of time.

“The whole experience, right from qualifying, the whole year was built on that qualifying event in Monaco and we certainly threw the kitchen sink at it and managed to qualify,” Dardis reflected yesterday as Allianz unveiled its three-year partnership with the Olympic Federation of Ireland.

“We were all on such a high from that for the three weeks leading into the Olympics and that’s not too long to get your head around, ‘Now, let’s get set for an Olympics, let’s go for a medal’. At the time, I was thinking about it as positively as I could.

“I thought we were riding a bit of a wave of momentum going into the Olympics on the back of Monaco, that we were in a good spot, but then we got there and because of the emotional and physical toll that Monaco took there was a bit of a physical and mental hangover from that.

“I don’t think that really helped. We went over there and things didn’t really click for us.

“It was incredibly frustrating, a real bitter pill to swallow afterwards.”

Rugby Newsletter

Subscribe to 'The Collision' for a weekly update from Rugby Correspondent Ruaidhri O'Connor and the best writing from our expert team. Issued every Friday morning.

This field is required

Although a number of players have retired, Dardis is determined to go again with the World Cup coming up next year and Paris 2024 on the horizon.

“We had a few guys move on now, but a few of us spoke about that after seeing the rowers come back with medals, seeing Kellie Harrington – you see how special it would be to get a medal,” he said.

“We’re looking now, Paris 2024 is only around the corner really. So, that’s lit a fire inside of all of us. Instead of qualifying, we want to push on and win a medal. That’s the goal from here.”


Most Watched





Privacy