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Rugby review great for Rio: Coates

30 October 2012

RUGBY SEVENS: The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) congratulates The Honourable Mark Arbib on his review into the governance of the Australian Rugby Union (ARU).

The achievements of the Wallabies has ensured our position as a leading Rugby nation, we are excited by the return of Rugby as an Olympic sport, and believe that the introduction of Rugby 7’s for both men and women in Rio in 2016 will further boost the sport at the elite and grassroots level. It will also enhance our reputation and lead to even more success for Australia in Rugby on the world stage.

We share Mark Arbib’s optimism and agree wholeheartedly that Rugby 7’s is a significant asset for Australian Rugby. As Mark Arbib points out in his report it has “the potential to be a great asset for developing new markets – particularly among women and multicultural and Indigenous communities who may not have traditionally played Rugby”.   

There is no doubt the possibility of representing your country at the Olympic Games will be an incentive for athletes from other sports to turn their attention to Rugby 7’s. Involvement in Rio 2016 and beyond will not only be a great advertisement for Rugby 7’s but the game in general. I can’t wait to be on the sideline in Rio cheering for our Rugby athletes and welcoming them into the Village as part of the Team.

As Mark Arbib says there is now a great opportunity to grow the game, through Rugby 7’s, in Asia particularly in the women’s ranks. 

It has been our experience that transparency within an organisation is extremely beneficial and believe this is definitely the right move for the future of the ARU and the sport in general.

I believe Arbib is correct when he says “ if Rugby is to secure its position as a profitable, mass entertainment professional sport – let alone thrive – it is essential that it has in place the best possible structures ”.

John Coates
AOC President

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