IRB wants star names at Olympics
June 12, 2014
Children enjoy beach rugby in Rio as part of the campaign to win over local hearts and minds © Getty Images
Rugby's big-name attractions must feature at the 2016 Rio Olympics if the sport is to maximise its opportunity on the world stage, according to IRB chief Brett Gosper.
The board under Gosper is encouraging international unions to work through red-tape issues and ensure stars who want to play are allowed to do so. He said while the value of out-and-out Sevens players must be respected, rugby's chances of becoming a permanent Olympic sport may rely on an injection of star power.
Let Sevens be Sevens
"In 2017, straight after Rio, they'll decide if rugby continues to be a core sport at the Olympics," Gosper, son of former International Olympic Committee vice-president Kevan said. "We will be in Japan  as well but that may be it.
"We've got to work very hard to ensure we'll be successful at Rio ... because a lot of money comes into rugby because of the Olympics. It really is a differentiator. A powerful draw for youth, spectators and players to be part of an Olympic adventure.
"The profile of the players in XVs is obviously something which has a lot of impact. We think it's important and the Olympics would like us to have them there.
"We would hope the unions would make it easy for those top players who want to be part of the Olympics. It's good for their country, good for the sport and good for the Olympics."
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