Team GB name rugby sevens squads for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games

The British Olympic Association has today announced the names of the 24 men and women who will compete in rugby sevens at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Mark Bennett & Mark Robertson

It will be the first time in 108 years that Team GB has had representation in rugby at Olympic level and a first for the seven-a-side format.

Competition takes place over six days with the women competing first from August 6-8 at the Deodoro Stadium in a pool which includes hosts Brazil, Japan and Canada.

The men's competition follows from August 9-11 with Kenya, Japan and New Zealand waiting in the pool stages for Team GB.

Two Scots make the plane for Rio, with Scotland 7s Mark Robertson and fully-capped internationalist Mark Bennett gaining selection in the final 12-man squad.

Scottish Rugby's head of Academy Stephen Gemmell and Head of Performance Medical Paul McGinley, will also head to the Olympics in a management capacity for Team GB's Rugby Sevens teams.

The men's squad will be led by England's Tom Mitchell and names a number of experienced sevens specialists including James Rodwell, who set a new world record earlier this year after playing in 69 consecutive HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series' tournaments, and Dan Norton, the series' fourth-highest leading scorer of all time.

Bennett, nominee for breakthrough player of the year following last season's Rugby World Cup, and James Davies (Scarlets) are named alongside Ollie Lindsay-Hague (Harlequins) as well as Marcus Watson (Newcastle Falcons) as the four 15-a-side players with previous sevens experience.

With GB Sevens unable to compete in the World Series, the wider training squad of 27 players gathered at the end of May for a six-week intensive training period involving a programme of four international competitions.

Team GB Chef de Mission, Mark England, said: "It's great to welcome rugby back into the Olympic family and announce our first squad of players in the sport for more than a century.

These players have incredible pedigree in the sport and bringing them together to form the first ever Team GB sevens squads is very special and each of these 24 will now forever be a part of British Olympic history.

"Today's announcement also means our team for Rio 2016 is complete and, after four years of hard work, we now have a strong squad of athletes ready to do their country proud at Rio 2016, our largest British Olympic Team for over a quarter of a century.

"I also genuinely believe this is our most talented ever team and to qualify in 23 out of the 28 sports is a fantastic achievement.For the athletes the Olympic Games represent a lifetime of dedication in the pursuit of excellence and I wish them all the best over the comings weeks. Let's bring home a new generation of heroes to inspire the nation."

 Team GB Head Coach (Men) Simon Amor said: "At the recent tournament in Exeter, the crowd were chanting 'GB', something that has never been heard in the rugby sevens world before, and it was yet another reminder of how privileged we are to now be part of one Team GB and the largest sporting event in the world.

Through the extraordinary GB spirit that has been created over the last seven weeks, all the players involved in the wider training squad have pushed themselves, and each other, to the limit. They have fought and fought for places each day. It has been incredibly competitive and the group has become very close in a short space of time.

"We have named a talented and experienced squad of 12 players today which we believe offers the right combinations and complimenting skill sets needed to be successful in Rio. It has however been a 27 player effort and recognition must go to every player involved in the programme, as well as the hard working and exceptional management team."

The selected athletes are...

Men's Squad

Mark Bennett (Glasgow Warriors)
Dan Bibby (England Sevens)
Phil Burgess (England Sevens)
Sam Cross (Wales Sevens)
Alex Davis (England Sevens)
James Davies (Scarlets)
Ollie Lindsay Hague (Harlequins)
Tom Mitchell (England Sevens) C
Dan Norton (England Sevens)
James Rodwell (England Sevens)
Mark Robertson (Scotland Sevens)
Marcus Watson (Newcastle Falcons)

Travelling reserves:
Luke Treharne (Wales Sevens)
Ruaridh McConnochie (England Sevens)

Men's Management: Simon Amor (Head Coach) Gareth Williams (Assistant Coach) Stephen Gemmell (Team Leader) Daniel Cooper (Video Analyst) Dan Howells (S&C Coach) Dr Jo Larkin (Doctor) Remi Mobed (Physiotherapist)

Women's Squad

Claire Allan (England Sevens)
Abbie Brown (England Sevens)
Heather Fisher (England Sevens)
Natasha Hunt (England Sevens)
Jasmine Joyce (Wales Sevens)
Katy McLean (England Sevens)
Alice Richardson (England Sevens)
Emily Scarratt (England Sevens)
Emily Scott (England Sevens)
Danielle Waterman (England Sevens)
Joanne Watmore (England Sevens)
Amy Wilson-Hardy (England Sevens)

Travelling reserves: Megan Jones (England Sevens)
Kay Wilson (England Sevens)

Women's Management: Simon Middleton (Head Coach) Richie Pugh (Assistant Coach) Nicky Ponsford (Team Leader) Zoe Eaton (Team Manager) Paul McGinley (Physiotherapist) Dave Gardner (Video Analyst) Dr Jo Larkin (Doctor) Celia Gillbe (Physiotherapist) Katie James (S&C Coach)