Brazil chasing Sevens Olympic dream

(IRB.COM) Saturday 11 February 2012
 
 Brazil chasing Sevens Olympic dream
Brazil are competing in their first World Series event since 2002

On day one of the 2012 USA Sevens, Brazil made their first outing on the world stage since 2002 as the country builds towards the hosting of Sevens Rugby's first Olympic event, in Rio in 2016.

The South American outfit suffered defeats against Series regulars England and Kenya in Pool D and face their third pool match against Scotland on day two.

They will gain valuable experience from competing against the Game's elite.

"It's been a hard week, but a good experience," said Brazil coach, Martin Schusterman.

"We've been looking forward to competing at this high level. Brazil really needs this sort of competition and hopefully one day we'll get to the right spot.

"Brazilians show a lot of passion for the game when they practice and they also show that on the pitch. We've brought a lot of youngsters in order to gain experience looking ahead to 2016 and the union is doing a lot of work to grow the sport's grass roots in Brazil."  

As the hosts of the 2016 Olympics, Brazil are hopeful of competing in Sevens' first appearance and with this on the horizon, Schusterman and Brazil will be hoping to use the USA Sevens as a platform to continue to develop and grow Sevens. 

Future challenge

"We have four years to build on this and our performance and we are looking forward to it.

"Brazil is a big country, so there is a lot of work to recruit the right players, but we are just working on development and the Olympics are changing big things over there because people are excited about it and looking forward to it," added Schusterman.

"More youngsters are now looking to get into it, and the Union is doing well to promote it everywhere."

Since the decision was made to add Rugby Sevens to the Olympic programme in October 2009, the amount of players participating in the sport has grown, and the Brazilian Women's side were part of the inaugural Women's Rugby World Cup Sevens in Dubai in 2009.

For Schusterman, a former Argentinean international, the challenge that lies ahead in the men's game is one that he is relishing.

"I have just finished playing rugby and now I am coaching which is quite new but I am very happy and learning a lot of things.

"It is a challenge, but I like that, and obviously to compete in big competitions like this and the Olympics would be great."