Rugby sevens embracing Olympic spirit unlike golf - Morariu


Rugby union has shown it is part of the Olympic family with the desire of some of its star names desperate to play in the sevens tournament at Rio 2016, says Octavian Morariu.

Sonny Bill Williams has already been confirmed as part of New Zealand's squad at the Games, while Springbok winger Bryan Habana is in contention to be part of South Africa's team.

Australia's Quade Cooper had hoped to be involved but he was eventually left out, while Jarryd Hayne suffered the same disappointment with Fiji.

The desire to play in the Games is in stark contrast to golf, where all of the world's top-four players have withdrawn - Jordan Spieth confirming his decision on Tuesday.

Rugby Europe president Morariu believes the commitment from rugby's superstars shows the sport is embracing the Olympic spirit and has sealed their place in the Olympic family.

"It shows all the strength of our sport, shows that we believe in our values and our principles," Morariu told Omnisport.

"There is no disappointment from rugby, it is of great importance that we belong to the Olympics.

"We have proved that we are really part of the family."

And the Romanian is confident the sevens tournament in Rio will cement rugby's place in future Games.

He added: "I expect the Olympic competition to be a great success, to convince and prove that our game is a great game. 

"That it is enjoyable, attractive and dynamic sport and that it has its true place within the Olympic Games and the Olympic family.

"It will be fantastic opportunity for the players to understand what the Olympics are all about, but also for the people in charge of rugby to realise that there is a lot of work to do in the future to become a true global sport. 

"It will be a fantastic opportunity and we need to maximise the outcome as much as possible."