In 2016 the abbreviated form of rugby union, sevens, takes centre stage. Not only has the game received a huge financial boost as World Rugby’s sevens world series signed up to continue their lucrative partnership with HSBC – in men’s and women’s rugby – but the series itself has expanded. And then there’s the small matter of the game being at the Olympics…

So the men’s sevens world series takes in ten legs, going from Dubai to Cape Town in the first few rounds. Then it’s off to Australasia for the Wellington and Sydney legs. North America welcomes the game to Las Vegas and Vancouver, before touring Hong Kong and Singapore. The last two rounds stop off in Paris and then close up in London.

The women’s series also starts in Dubai, though there are only five legs of their tour. After beginning in the UAE, the series then visits Sao Paulo in Brazil, Atlanta in the USA, Langford in British Columbia, and finally, Clermont in France.

Then, once the qualification is all done and dusted and we know who the final teams are, the sevens hits Brazil for the Olympic Games. Competition begins on 6 August, running until 11 August. It is the first time rugby union has featured at the Olympics since 1924, but it is also the first time sevens – with it’s carnival atmosphere, stunning athleticism and quick turnarounds – features on the schedule.

Who will take home Olympic gold? Whoever it is, there will be excitement on the journey there!

A smile borne from a belief that, no matter the difficulties of merging three nations and without any World Series events to compete in, GB have all the tools needed…