Top Marks for Scotland return to their clubs after Rio 7's success

Silver medallists Mark Bennett and Mark Robertson returned to their respective clubs on Saturday following Team GB’s success at the Rio Olympic Games this summer.

The rugby pair were the only Scots to make the cut for GB 7’s head coach Simon Amor’s 12-man squad, and Bennett ensured a Scotsman put points on the board for Great Britain, scoring two tries in the tournament.

Bennett received a warm welcome at Glasgow Warriors’ first home game of the season on Saturday, although not in his usual position at centre, but to present the match ball and officially open Scotstoun’s new artificial pitch whilst donning his Olympic medal.

BT Premiership high achievers Melrose also welcomed home their Olympian, hosting a pre-match lunch in his honour where they presented Robertson with a special plaque for his achievements, before putting on a show for him winning 52-22 against Currie.

For any athlete, being picked to represent their country at the Olympics would be an experience and achievement difficult to match in their sporting careers, but Bennett spoke about how for him it was especially significant considering rugby 7’s debut at Rio this year: “Growing up playing rugby I never thought I’d be a part of the Olympics because it was no longer an Olympic sport.”

“Being there playing for Team GB in the first year of rugby 7’s at the Olympics was a great experience; not even just the games but the build-up too was great to be a part of and experience first-hand.”

When asked about his Rio experience, Robertson said: “There were so many parts to the experience that were new to me; it was particularly special since I had never been a part of a multi team event before.”

Nothing prepares you for the scale of the Olympics, the camaraderie between all the teams was amazing.” 

Bennett also spoke about scoring a try against New Zealand which was a highlight of the tournament for him since he had never won against the All Blacks before.

Robertson said it was great to go to Rio and play rugby with such an awesome group of boys, but it wasn’t all about the rugby, it was about the wider success of Team GB too.

All of Team GB were located in the same apartment block, which meant every athlete representing Great Britain, regardless of if they were there as an individual or part of a team, really banded together and supported one another.”

Since Rio, Robertson has been busy spending time with his family and getting out into the community by visiting different schools in his local area, as he feels a sense of duty to use his Olympic success to benefit and inspire the next generation.

“I think it’s important to show kids that anyone can do it, and seeing the medal makes it real for them.”

After some well-deserved time off, Bennett on the other hand is back training with the Warriors and hopes to return to the field as soon as possible.

“I’m not a good spectator, so I just want to get straight back at it.”

He also commented on how 7’s is a different game to 15’s, but the specialist training won’t go amiss, as his defensive and tackling skills had to be honed in since there is more ground to cover in the seven’s game, as well as his evasion and footwork, which he hopes he can bring to the Warrior’s game.