IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset believes that the London 2012 Olympic Games will inspire future Sevens stars to perform on the world's biggest sporting stage.
The seven-a-side form of the Game, which has boomed in recent years, will make its debut at the 2016 Games in Rio and for men and women around the world the countdown has now officially begun, according to the Frenchman.
"Some four billion people around the world will have seen the opening ceremony last night, including, I am sure, many Rugby players."
"It will have certainly been aspirational and inspirational seeing all those athletes paraded in the Olympic Stadium. It will have whetted the appetite and many will be dreaming about what's to come in four years time."
"We were not an Olympic sport at the time of the last Games in Beijing. We are now. There will be some pretty excited players watching these Games knowing that they will be there, rubbing shoulders with the finest athletes from around the world."
Lapasset was at a spectacular opening ceremony and the strong use of Rugby imagery and action as part of the production did not go unnoticed.
"It was wonderful to see Rugby action included in the ceremony. What a way to signpost to the world our tradition, our values and our excitement at being an Olympic sport."
Rugby's return to the Olympics might be four years away, but planning and preparation is on track, new nations are blossoming, participation is booming and the 'Olympic effect' is certainly inspiring Rugby players around the world.
Player Quotes of Support
“More than anything, Sevens embodies the Olympic ideals of camaraderie, fair play and respect on and off the field of play.” – Shane Williams, Wales
“You play sport at the highest level to challenge yourself to be the best that you can possibly be and to compete with the best from all over the world, and what better stage to do that on than at the Olympics?” – Sue Day, England
“Going to the Commonwealth Games was amazing and to have the chance to go to the Olympics would be right up there with anything you could possibly dream of doing in sport.” – Tamati Ellison, New Zealand
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