MARCH 6 - FORMER England captain Lawrence Dallaglio (pictured) has become he latest high-profile figure to back rugby sevens bid to get voted onto the Olympic programme for the 2016 Games.
The backing from the Dallaglio, a member of England's World Cup winning side in 2003, comes after the International Rugby Players’ Association (IRPA) announced that the IRB’s campaign comes with the endorsement of the world’s top players.
He said: “I speak for the entire rugby family when I say that we believe that Rugby would strengthen and support the Olympic Movement and that the Olympic Games would be great for rugby."
The former London Wasps and England star, who lifted the prestigious Melrose Cup with the England Sevens team in Edinburgh in 1993, believes that sevens would be the perfect fit for the Olympic Games.
He said: “Rugby sevens is played by the quickest, fittest and most agile players.
"It is an exciting, fast and free flowing game that is great for young people and enjoyed by men, women and families everywhere.
“The camaraderie of being part of a national team with athletes from different sports all competing side by side.
"Being part of the world’s greatest sporting event and extending the reach of the Games, particularly to more young people, for years to come."
Over three million people across 116 countries participate in rugby worldwide and rugby sevens has experienced unprecedented growth and appeal over the past decade.
Dallaglio is currently in Dubai to watch the World Cup Sevens tournament, which opened yesterday.
He said: “I have some of my greatest memories from winning the 1993 Rugby World Cup Sevens in Edinburgh and am thrilled to see how quickly the game has grown since then."
Rugby sevens is one of seven sports that will be up for election when the International Olympic Committe (IOC) vote at its Session in Copenhagen in October.
The others are baseball, golf, karate, roller sports, softball and squash.