Dubai: A top official of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series for men is convinced the UAE has the capacity of playing at the Olympic Games in future.
Douglas Langley, the men’s series director of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, who was present for last weekend’s Dubai Rugby Sevens observed that the well-planned out development programme by the UAE Rugby Union means a sure representation for the country at the Olympics in the near future.
“Everything works very well here. The invitation tournaments going around the main tournament are the best as they leave behind a fantastic legacy here for future players getting inspired. A lot more money is now being invested through the unions that have got opportunities with the Olympic Games and the UAE too is part of this movement,” Langley told Gulf News.
“We had 17 million new fans from across the world at 2016 Rio and the sevens is now seen as a great way of getting into the game. The laws are simpler and the games are quicker and easily understandable. One of the things that we have been working with the hosts is the sustainability of the game where various schools contribute in the growth of rugby. For example, Korea is going to the next Olympics, so why can’t the UAE also aspire for this in the near future?” he queried.
Rugby sevens getting into the Olympic movement, according to Langley, has changed the sport. “The best rugby sevens players in men and women are on centrestage at one time and we are going to keep on building and growing at each Olympic Games. There is a positive future in that as there will be more rugby unions who will get more investments into the game, so we should see a big growth,” Langley observed.
“We will have depth in teams alongside high performance and hopefully, we will have more teams winning tournaments and that will lead us on to more fans getting engaged in the game. The Games in Tokyo will be another huge pointer,” he added.