Weekly News Brief | 29 - 04 Sep
- Created: Sunday, 04 September 2016 13:35
1) Dan Bibby returns to his old school
Pic: World Rugby
GB Sevens star Dan Bibby will be going up north this season to support his former school Kirkham in the Daily Mail Schools Trophy which started this weekend.
The grammar school near Blackpool has a rich rugby history and is one of the most consistent teams in the nationwide schools tournament Daily Mail Schools Trophy.
Dan Bibby, who scored the winning try in the quarter-final of the Olympics against Argentina said: ‘I remember when I was at the school former players came back to help out. England scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth, who now plays for Saracens, often helped out.
‘I’d like to go back and catch up with Aled and to do the same as the other former players. I had a great time at the school and enjoyed my days there. It was the first time I had lived away from home and I have some very special memories' Bibby said.
2) Could Sevens become a game changer?
Pic: World Rugby
Gwyn Jones, writer for the online magazine “Wales Online”, suggested in an article this week that 15s sides should adopt elements from the 7-a-side format.
Jones wrote: “It’s (sevens) a highlight reel” as all “the best features of the game condensed into 14 minutes of action”. In 7s you rarely witness reset scrums, thoughtless kicking and mindless crash-ball running to win the battle at the gain line.
Jones argues that these are all features which should be featured more in week-to-week rugby union matches in order to make the game more attractive. One reason for the recent success of 7s is the speed, skill, vision and creativity which you’ll see within “every precious minute of the game” and since “rugby sevens will have a much larger place in peoples’ minds this is an opportunity to increase participation across all demographics” Jones writes.
3) Late medal for Hougaard
South African 7s and 15s star Francois Hougaard eventually received a bronze medal after he gave away his medal to injured team mate Seabelo Senatla, sport24 reports.
The Bok star was called up for the semi-final against Team GB and the 3rd place playoff against Japan. After successfully beating Japan to finish third in the Olympics, Hougaard insisted that Senatla, who featured South Africa in all tournaments leading up to Rio, deserved the medal more and so he left Brazil without the precious trophy.
This week however it turned out that the team managers found an extra medal which was dispatched to South Africa and awarded to Hougaard.
4) Ben Ryan leaves Fiji
Ex-England Sevens coach Ben Ryan has officially left his role as Fiji coach this week. The 44-year old guided Fiji to their first-ever gold medal win last month in Rio and secured two World Sevens Series titles since his appointment.
Efforts by the Fijian Rugby Union to keep Ryan, included three acres of land and being named as a chief in the Serau province. However the coach pointed out that the time has come to move on.
Speculations about his next role include involvements in Japanese rugby, but nothing has been confirmed yet.
5) New Zealand Women's Sevens team inspire a whole generation
Pic: World Rugby
The phenomenal silver medal win in Rio by the New Zealand Women’s team may offer a “genuine career path to pursue” for young women, suff.co.nz wrote.
The Olympics offered a huge opportunity to promote the women’s game and following the recent a significant increase in participation is expected. While in 2014 there were 17,825 women playing rugby, the number of female players could go up to 22,000 this year.
Especially since there is a full-time professional sevens programme in place the future of the women’s game looks more than promising.