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Can England 7s Restore English Pride at the Olympics?

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 12:  Tom Mitchell of England takes on the defense during the Gold Coast Sevens round 1 match between England and Spain at Skilled Stadium on October 12, 2013 on the Gold Coast, Australia.  (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

GOLD COAST 7s, AUSTRALIA – OCTOBER 12: Tom Mitchell of England takes on the Spanish defense (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

As everyone knows, England had to bow out of the Rugby World Cup after failing to enter the knockout phase and becoming the first host nation to leave the competition at such an early stage.

Now the goal for England is to restore English pride with the help of the England 7s side, which will be playing in the Sevens World Series and the Olympics as part of the Great Britain team in 2016.

For the first time in history, rugby 7s will make its debt in the Rio Olympics after the Olympic committee voted to make the sport an Olympic discipline in 2009.

7s Series

Before Rio, England’s 7s will be competing against some of their biggest rivals in the Sevens World Series, which will include Australia – and they will need a good display in Pool D against Kenya and Wales too, not just the Australians.

1bThis may allow England another opportunity to restore English pride considering Wales and Australia were the main reasons why England failed to progress in the World Cup. What a great opportunity for redemption!

The first games of the 7s series is in Dubai (which has just kicked off) and the tournament ends in London at the HSBC London 7s at Twickenham in May 2016.

Experts say that this will be the most exciting 7s series with very stiff competition, including a very strong South African side.

Player Development

After the World Cup, Stuart Lancaster stepped down from the coaching position, which he took control of under difficult circumstances. Although England failed to progress as expected in the Rugby World Cup, there has been some important player and team development for the English side.

Although it was difficult for Lancaster to get the team to where it needed to be in time for the World Cup, the players undoubtedly benefited from playing at the highest levels throughout the competition and the experience will have made a lasting impact.

If they are able to reach the necessary fitness levels for the highly demanding sport of rugby 7s, the England players may be selected to take part in the Olympics in Rio. If so, these players will undoubtedly benefit from the experience of playing at the highest levels against the best in the world – which can only serve them well for the Rugby World Cup in Japan in 2019.

Despite the results, England has to be proud of the new group of players embedded into the team that will represent England for a long time to come – and rugby 7s may be just what they need to build an even stronger pool of players and restore some English pride.

About Ellaine

Ellaine is the founder of FRN and author of "Mini and Youth Rugby: Complete Guide for Coaches and Parents" (published October 2015). She has been playing rugby union for over 10 years in the UK and the US for teams including Oxford University Blues, London Wasps, Henley, NOVA, and GWU. She has recently developed a love for rugby 7s and has played on several international rugby 7s teams. She also enjoys playing touch rugby and regularly plays for the FRN Mixed Touch Rugby team. She is passionate about helping others develop a love for rugby. View all posts by Ellaine

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