Brazil sevens ready to learn on the big stage in Dubai

Dec 4 • General News, International, Sevens Rugby, Sevens World Series • 1809 Views • Comments Off on Brazil sevens ready to learn on the big stage in Dubai

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Brazil’s men make a welcome return to the HSBC Sevens World Series in Dubai this weekend after a two-and-a-half year absence from the competition.

The Olympics host nation has not featured on the series since they last appeared in Las Vegas in February 2012 and with top seeds Fiji, South American rivals Argentina and France alongside them in Pool A, progress for such an inexperienced side is likely to be measured on performance rather than results.

“It is a big thing for us to be in Dubai and it is something we have been looking forward to for a long time,” said diminutive half-back Felipe Claro.

“The more tournaments that we play in at this level the more our rugby will improve.”

Whereas their rivals will be battling it out to be in the top four at the end of the series in a bid to qualify for the Olympics, Brazil, as hosts, are not under the same kind of pressure.

They are already guaranteed their place at the rugby sevens event in Rio, and Claro – a try scorer against England back in 2012 – says they will go out and play with freedom in Dubai.

“We are going to try and keep the ball in hand and keep the ball alive and score some tries,” he vowed.

OVERSEAS AID

Brazil have cast their net far and wide in a bid to unearth Brazilian-qualified players based overseas.

Former Australian sevens player Dave Harvey, son of Aussie cricketing legend Neil, has been brought into the fold, as has English-based, Cambridge Blue Juliano Flori.

This expansionist policy is supported by Argentinean-born head coach Andres Romagnoli, who was appointed by the Confederação Brasileira de Rugby in June.

“We are looking for overseas players who can come in and share their knowledge of sevens and improve the team. We are very happy to take these players on board,” he said.

Brazil’s debut in Dubai will only further heighten the awareness of rugby sevens back home and Claro, who names RWC 2003 winner Jonny Wilkinson as his all-time rugby hero, hopes to inspire more youngsters to take up the sport.

“Seeing players from five years of age to 13 starting to play rugby is a dream come true for us because they are the next generation of players who will carry our legacy,” he said.

“We’ve seen a rapid growth in interest and participation since it was announced that rugby sevens would be at the Olympics. Parents have liked what they’ve seen on TV and more and more kids are getting involved and new clubs are being established all of the time.”

Courtesy of World Rugby

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