In preparation for this summer’s Olympics in Tokyo, GB Sevens has played host to the International Rugby 7s tournament, which was held at St. George’s Park between 15 and 17 May.
Over the course of the tournament, each side played two games per day at the home of England’s football teams, with Great Britain’s men’s side facing USA and Ireland and the women’s team taking on France and Ireland.
The unique format saw points collected over the course of the three-day competition, which was played behind closed doors and streamed live on England Rugby’s online channels.
Getting underway on Saturday 15 May, the opening session saw Ireland’s men suffer a 7-12 defeat to Great Britain, whilst Ireland’s women also lost, with France beating them 14-12.
The second session of the opening day saw wins for Ireland’s men and France’s women, beating USA 12-10 and Great Britain 26-24 respectively.
Finally, Great Britain’s men and women’s team sealed important wins on the last session of the day, with the men beating USA 33-12 and the women Ireland 29-21.
On Sunday 16 May, the opening game saw Ireland’s men sweep past USA 31-14, before Great Britain’s women suffered a 12-26 defeat to France.
Later on, Great Britain’s men sealed a ten-point win over USA, with the final score 24-14, before Ireland’s women thrashed France 24-7.
The second day was brought to a close with Great Britain’s men winning 14-10 against Ireland and Great Britain’s women defeating Ireland 26-7.
Monday 17 May, the final day of the tournament, opened with Ireland’s men scoring an impressive 33-0 victory over USA, although the Irish women’s side fared worse against France, losing 5-35.
The early afternoon session saw Ireland’s men steal a 12-14 win over Great Britain, before the GB women’s side drew 19-19 with Ireland.
Great Britain’s men would go on to lose 36-14 against USA in their final game of the competition, with the women’s side signing off with a 33-7 win against France.
With the points tallied up, Ireland were crowned winners of the men’s competition and France the winners of the women’s contest.
Charlie Hayter, Great Britain Team Leader, said: “There are amazing facilities at St. George’s Park with everything on one site. There’s high-class gym facilities, quality pitches and a hotel to boot. It’s been great, especially in the world we’re living in with COVID, to have excellent sport facilities we’ve got; it’s an amazing venue to be at in a competitive environment.
“Everything is on your doorstep here. Nutrition has been bang on for every meal and everybody has been really accommodating. Sevens is a bit of a chaotic sport with multiple games in a day, so the staff have been really reactive to that and very flexible. The pitches have held up really well in all the games. The hotel is great. It’s been the first time that we’ve been able to do twin rooms through COVID, but the players have had enough space in those rooms. There’s a short walk to the pitch and a really short walk to the gym and hydrotherapy facilities.”
Emma Uren, GB Sevens player, added: “It’s been amazing. The facilities here have been really beneficial. It’s so good for our bodies to have such nice pitches, there’s no niggles coming from pitches, and being able to use hydrotherapy is great for recovery.
“It’s great that everything is on one site and that you’re out of the way. When you’re here, you can focus and you have nothing to worry about. Everything comes to you and you can just focus on performing and getting yourself ready.”
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