IRB Player of the Year 2008 Shane Williams has joined the growing number of top international players calling for Rugby Sevens to be included in the 2016 Olympic Games.
The Wales star, who played for the British and Irish Lions against the Emerging Springboks in Cape Town yesterday, believes that Rugby Sevens would be a popular and successful addition to the Olympic Games.
"I believe Rugby Sevens would be the perfect fit for the Olympic Games," said the winger. "Sevens is exciting and fast. It is a game which rewards speed and agility over strength and power, enabling teams from around the world such as Kenya, Russia and Tunisia to compete at the highest level."
"It also provides a high level of entertainment that has proven successful in attracting new young fans to the sport from around the world. More than anything, Sevens also embodies the Olympic ideals of camaraderie, fair play and respect on and off the field of play."
"These values are not immediately obvious in all sports, but in Rugby, you make friends for life, whether you play or support the Game at local, national or international level. The inclusion of Sevens in the Olympic Games would be a fantastic source of inspiration for young sportsmen and women around the world."
Williams, who made his British and Irish Lions debut in 2005, is also excited at the prospect of competing for a Great Britain team at the Olympic Games. Something, he says, his fellow Lions also support.
"I would love to represent Great Britain at the Olympic Games - the world's greatest sporting stage. I am sure that it is every top athlete's dream to participate in the Games and for Rugby players it is no different. We would love to be there and competing for Team GB would be exciting, rubbing shoulders with elite athletes from other sports," he said.
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.