Lomu joins IRB’s Sevens Olympic campaign

Rugby legend Jonah Lomu will travel to Copenhagen with the International Rugby Board’s team campaigning for rugby Sevens’ inclusion in the 2016 Olympic Games.

The former All Black and New Zealand Sevens star will join IRB president Bernard Lapasset, IRB secretary general Mike Miller and fellow international rugby stars in the Danish capital ahead of the decisive vote to determine the sports that will be added to the 2016 Olympic Games programme.

Rugby Sevens, along with golf, was recommended for inclusion by the IOC executive board at its meeting in Berlin in August and the two sports now face separate votes by the full 106 IOC membership with a straight majority required.

Lomu, who heads an impressive list of the world’s top men’s and women’s players backing the bid, believes that Sevens’ attractive brand of high-paced action, festival atmosphere and massive global appeal is the perfect fit for the Olympic Games.

“It would be fantastic for Rugby and fantastic for the Games,” said the wing who won a Sevens gold medal with New Zealand at the 1998 Commonwealth Games.

“Playing in the Commonwealth Games was a major highlight of my career and it gave me a taste of what it must be like as part of the Olympic family competing on the world’s greatest sporting stage. I was captivated and I just wish I could have competed for an Olympic gold medal.

“Sevens certainly has all the right ingredients. It is explosive, exciting, unpredictable and due to its highly-competitive nature, it gives the opportunity for smaller Rugby nations to win a medal.

“It is effective in reaching new audiences around the world, attractive to broadcasters and sponsors and I think Sevens would be a popular addition to the Games.”

Lomu, who first rose to prominence playing in the New Zealand Sevens side in 1994, is impressed with the increased competitiveness and universality of Sevens since his playing days and believes that Olympic inclusion would grow the rugby community worldwide.

“Being part of the Olympic Games would serve to boost the development of Rugby worldwide.

The Olympics is the pinnacle, it would inspire, it would create dreams and shape ambitions.


Rugby Sevens would have the platform to reach out to new audiences around the world. It would be amazing,” added Lomu.

“Sevens launched my career and I would not have been the player or person that I am without it. I enjoyed the experience immensely and the special attributes of camaraderie and respect that comes with being on the Sevens circuit.

“The top players would come and play in an Olympic Games tournament and would be proud to be Olympians. I have no doubt about that.


“We are all in sport to be the best and the Olympic Games is the world’s biggest sporting stage.”

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