With 8 teams competing over a 3 day tournament, we are set to see some of rugby's biggest rivals going head to head, showcasing some unbelievable rugby talent and unrivalled athleticism.
Having played both codes throughout my whole international career, this season was the first time I did not return to the 7s format of the game. It was strange at first, but I have definitely not missed the lung-busting, relentless running needed to keep up in even the easiest of training sessions! However, the opportunity to play at such an historic event, will definitely be worth all of the blood, sweat and tears they have all put in. As a rugby player it is hugely exciting to be part of a multi-sport event, and it has been brilliant to see a number of the team getting to watch other events and show their support to Team England. The athlete village was also something that I loved to experience during the Olympic Games, not only to see how many sporting heroes I could spot, but also seeing the eclectic shapes and sizes needed to compete in such a vast range of sports at the highest level.
Since its introduction to the Olympics Games in Rio in 2016, Rugby 7s has become an exceptionally attractive sport for many ‘non rugby’ nations who have taken it by storm. The likes of the USA, being one team that has toppled the hugely talented and formidable Kiwis. However, as the home nation, reigning Olympic Champions, and being the first team to not concede one point in the last World Series tournament, Australia for me, are the team to beat this time round.
However, you should definitely not rule out Team England of medal contentions. James Bailey has selected a nice balance throughout the team, and with nearly all players being either an Olympian and/ or a World Champion, there is a huge wealth of experience to call upon when the pressure comes.
This season has also seen the likes of Deborah Flemming, Lydia Thompson and Jess Breach bring the pace and finishing ability to rival all of the fastest players at the tournament, and the physicality of Heather Fisher, and Alex Matthews will definitely add some spice to their attack.
Team England kick off the tournament against Fiji this Friday, make sure you tune in to watch some fast and furious rugby that will not disappoint!