Chairman of GB Sevens Ian Ritchie believes the success of rugby sevens at the Olympics marks a “really significant” moment for the sport.
Sevens made its Olympic debut in Rio with Team GB claiming silver after falling to Fiji in the final having beaten Kenya, Japan, New Zealand, Argentina and South Africa on the way.
“On behalf of everyone at the RFU, SRU and WRU we congratulate the Team GB sevens team for winning a silver medal in the very first rugby sevens competition in the Olympics,” said Ritchie.
“The team have gone through and beaten some of the big sides to reach the final in Rio and that is a testament to the hard work, commitment and determination of all of the players, coaches and the management involved.
“They have done an incredible job in what has been an intense 10-week concentrated programme to prepare to play like they have done over the last three days. And they have done so with a brilliant GB spirit.”
Ritchie also praised the contribution of the women’s side who just missed out on a bronze after losing to Canada.
“They did Great Britain proud and inspired many young girls back home to pick up a rugby ball. They have been fantastic role models for the game.”
He added: “The three home unions have worked closely together to put in place a men’s and women’s Olympic programme and we are all very proud of the way everyone has pulled together.
“Having rugby sevens included in the Olympics for the first time is a really significant moment for the sport and to come away with a silver medal is very special for everyone involved.”