Gold Coast sends Wales closer to Rio

15 Oct

Up-and-close-with-Jevon-Groves

By Lee Duveck-Smith, Bond University Journalism Student

Rugby Seven’s Wales squad boosted their chances on the Gold Coast last weekend to play at the 2016 Olympic Games.

The Gold Coast kicked off the first of nine tournaments scheduled to finish in London next year and the top four teams will automatically qualify for the Rugby Sevens debut in the Rio Olympics.

The competition is played with two halves of seven minutes, consists of seven players a side over nine tournaments and covers five continents.

Rugby sevens has enticed leading players from the traditional game of 15 a side to be available in the hope of gold in Rio.

The newly formed Wales squad captain Jevon Groves said that they wanted to do well and perform as they needed points in the series table for a better draw in the next couple of competitions.

“This year is the qualification year so if you get in the top four, you qualify into the Olympics, so that’s what we are aiming for really,” he said.

“It’s good to watch as well, in the Seven’s games everyone’s scoring tries and its quite exciting.”

Mr Groves, number 12, is an athletic back row for Wales and he said the Gold Coast lifestyle was a better way to live as there is a great deal of sport taking place.

“I just can’t believe everyone’s out doing things, everyone’s so fit over here,” he said.

“Where I come from we don’t do much and the weather is probably the main factor of that really.”

The Wales captain has been playing professional rugby since he was 19.

He has been through the academy system of Wales, full time with regional rugby, played 7’s internationally for three years and now he’s back.

“This is my fourth year now,” Mr Groves said.

“I played 10’s about three years ago, then I went back and played 15’s full time and now I’m back again part-time 15 and part time sevens, so it’s good,” he said.

Executive Director of Sport Mr Garry Nucifora said last week that Mr Groves was unique.

“He’s a sevens specialist and high aspirations for the 15’s ,” said Mr Nucifora.

Mr Groves said that the next tournament will be in Dubai and South Africa, as they pair them up.

The Wales squad has now gained 10 points and is equal seventh with Australia. The more successful they are the more points; the more points the better chance it is to make it to the Olympics.

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