Great Britain men’s coach Simon Amor admits to having “a massive selection headache” after some superb individual and team performances resulted in GB Royals and GB Lions claiming silverware at the Exeter Sevens on Sunday.
The GB Royals came from 12-0 down to beat fellow Rio 2016 participants France 33-17 in the Cup final, while the Lions lifted the Plate with a 31-19 victory over Germany.
Wales captain Luke Treharne was certainly one to put his hand up ahead of GB’s Rio 2016 squad announcement, on Tuesday 19 July, with his exploits at Sandy Park earning him the player of the tournament accolade.
“To win the cup here is a credit to everyone that has been involved in the GB programme, I am really pleased,” said Amor.
“We have some absolutely unbelievable players, there is so much talent to pick from and now we need to work out which combinations work the best.
“They have given us some massive selection headaches and that is exactly the place we wanted to be in. Gareth Williams and I have some really tough decisions to make.”
It took a moment of class from Ollie Lindsay-Hague (pictured) to spark GB into life after the concession of two early tries saw them trail 12-0, the speedster collecting his own chip over the defensive line to gather and touch down under the posts.
France responded through Pierre Gilles Lakafia, who scored in the corner after a missed tackle, and Les Bleus looked set to go into the break with a 17-7 advantage. With just two seconds left of the opening period, however, Alex Davis brushed off two tacklers to dot down and make it 17-14.
The second half was a completely different story and the Royals scored 19 unanswered points to claim the title. First James Rodwell galloped through to score and not long after Ruaridh McConnochie made a try-saving tackle in the corner, having earlier run the length of the pitch to score for the fifth time to make it 26-17.
And with only seconds remaining, the electric Lindsay-Hague spotted a gap in the defence and darted through to round off the win.
It was France’s second runners-up finish of the Rugby Europe Grand Prix Sevens Series after losing out to Russia in the final of last month’s opening round in Moscow.
Spain, who will also be present in Rio after winning the repechage, beat Russia 17-7 to claim third place, an improvement on their seventh-place finish in Moscow.
The final round of the Rugby Europe Grand Prix Sevens Series takes place this weekend in Gdynia, Poland.
HAYNE ACCEPTS THE PAIN
Code-hopping superstar Jarryd Hayne’s Olympic dream is over after he was told by Fiji head coach Ben Ryan that he hadn’t made the cut for Rio 2016.
"Last Friday I had a meeting with Ben to discuss my future with the team and I was informed that my time has ended," the former NFL and NRL player said.
"As much as I would have loved to go to Rio, I too knew I wasn't ready yet. During my time with the team, I pushed my body above and beyond. I used all my experience as a professional athlete and have tried every day and in every way possible to make this team and make it better but unfortunately, time has been against me.
"I've loved every minute of training with the Fiji sevens. Not only are they back-to-back world champions but they are a bunch of guys who have welcomed me into the team as one of their own family.
"It was hard to comprehend and understand at first why I came here. Why God put me here, but deep down I knew there was a reason and a purpose. God takes you places not so you can achieve what you set out for, but to play a part and help something greater than yourself.
"This has been an amazing journey for me and a truly humbling experience. I have learnt so much and will never forget my time with this team."
Hayne made six appearances as a replacement at the final round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in London in May.
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