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WRU welcome ‘exciting’ news Wales to compete as Team GB in rugby sevens World Series but some fans aren’t happy

20 Jul 2022 3 minute read
Team GB compete in Women’s 7s at the Olympic Games in Rio, 2016. Picture by Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil (CC BY 3.0 BR).

Wales’ men and women teams will have to compete as part of Team GB as part of rugby sevens’ World Series after a mandate by World Rugby.

The WRU said the move was “an exciting opportunity” but it received a backlash from fans online who described it as a “horrific decision”.

The union said the move had been ratified and mandated by World Rugby so that the same team could compete at the Olympic games.

They added that the move was “an exciting opportunity to progress the performance capabilities further with GB training and competing together consistently on the World Series, with GB as the representative team”.

The decision however drew a heated reaction on social media with one fan, Owain Barlow, describing it as a “disgraceful decision”

“We’re Welsh not anything else, to disrespect the culture of Welsh rugby like this is a terrible decision,” he said.

Another, Gareth Williams, described it as “outrageous” and Dafydd Roberts said it was a “horrific decision”.

Plaid Cymru Councillor Rhys Mills added: “Decisions like this prove that you’re out of touch, also 7s has always been a decent pathway for elite players. This is a horrible decision.”

‘Right way forward’

The World Series will kick off in Hong Kong for the men (4-6 November 2022) and Dubai (2-3 December 2022) for the women which will be the teams’ maiden tournaments.

RFU Performance Director Conor O’Shea said: “A huge amount of work has gone on behind the scenes to get to this stage and I would like to thank our colleagues at Scottish Rugby and Welsh Rugby Union along with Nigel Cass (competitions director at World Rugby) for their collaboration.

“This is a seminal day for sevens, it is the right way forward, giving Team GB a real opportunity to go to the Olympic games with the right preparation, to compete on a level playing field with other sevens programmes and most importantly enables us all to give certainty to staff and players as to the future of the programme.

“We will be working hard now to finalise the structures to support GB so we are ready to start the 22/23 World Sevens Series with a bang moving towards Paris 2024 and beyond.”

WRU Performance Director Nigel Walker said, “This is a real opportunity for Welsh players to reach an Olympic Games.

“We will maintain male and female sevens programmes in Wales to develop players and coaches and make sure there is a pipeline of talent culminating in the opportunity to push for GB selection and ultimately compete at an Olympics.”

Scottish Rugby’s Director of High Performance, Jim Mallinder said: “We are acutely aware of Scotland’s heritage and passion for sevens rugby. As such we remain fully committed to a Scotland 7s programme to develop our players and coaches.

“The move to a GB Sevens team on the World Series will give Scottish players, both men and women, a unique opportunity to represent and compete on the largest global stage through the World Series and Olympic Games.

“It is an exciting development and one we intend to play a full part in.”


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Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
26 days ago

How is Nigel going to maintain Sevens streams in Wales when they have nobody to compete against?
Who is now paying for this “Team GB”?
Are the WRU now sacking those players they have only recently handed contracts?

Aled Rees
Aled Rees
26 days ago

what a disgusting decision,but not surprised really.The wru have allways been a bunch of royal arse lickers.
We are WALES.Not bloody team GB
Cachgŵn.

Keith Parry
Keith Parry
26 days ago

Who ever is responsible for this disgraceful sell out should be sacked NOW!

Ap Kenneth
26 days ago

What is the point of the WRU? Should rename themselves GBRU they have no pride.

GarethW
GarethW
26 days ago

This is a real opportunity for Welsh players to go to the Olympics, as Team GB. To fly the English Jack and get played on to the field with the English national anthem. Has Nigel Walker or the WRU got any pride at all ?

Richard Jenkins
Richard Jenkins
26 days ago

Typical self aggrandisement from the quisling gong seekers at the WRU! Sell your nation’s independence for 30 pieces! Gwarthus!

Gareth
Gareth
26 days ago

And this just emphasises the world of difference between the football and rugby governing bodies in Cymru. The FAW, refer to the team as Cymru, our language is always prominent, and will have nothing to do with a ” team GB”, while the WRU, refer to the team as Wales, and jump at the opportunity to be part of a GB team, no wonder a recent survey said football has overtaken rugby in popularity in Cymru.

Confused
Confused
26 days ago
Reply to  Gareth

In the English language it’s Wales.

Gareth
Gareth
26 days ago

And while the suckers at the WRU and the SRU, fund a England dominated 7s squad, the money saved by the RFU, is funnelled into the professional womens team in England, this has been ongoing for a few years, check out statements made by the RFU a couple of years ago regarding funding, and redundancies made by the RFU, when this idea was first suggested.

Last edited 26 days ago by Gareth
Quornby
Quornby
26 days ago

WRU Uncle Toms strike again.

Evans
Evans
26 days ago

We have A welsh football team, a Welsh Rugby team before i pop my cloggs i would love to see a Welsh team at the Olympic games and the icing on the cake final freedom Wales Represented at the United Nations and Wales a member of the E U our own destiny

Robin Jones
Robin Jones
25 days ago

Absolute disgrace. So out of touch wru. This is another set back for Welsh rugby, and Wales as a country,I am lost for words. I have played and watched rugby all my life, just gave a look at Welsh football wru- wake up and change your ways!!!!

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
25 days ago

This is extremely disturbing and entirely the wrong direction of travel. Anywhere a Wales team exists must be protected and not compromised. We MUST NOT support any new ‘Team GB’ collaborations and start ditching any that currently exist such as the B & I Lions. I’ve never liked it and can’t get excited about it. Aus/NZ/SA don’t get together and come up here to play do they? It’s a hangover from the Empire and needs to end. The Welsh & Scottish Rugby Unions have demonstrated here that they are not serious about the existence of their nations and are therefore… Read more »

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
24 days ago

So they will be playing for England in the eyes of most of the world, absolute disgrace

Last edited 24 days ago by Stephen Owen

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