JUNE 25 - RUGBY is hoping that the publication of a new brochure celebrating the links between it and the Olympics will help get it put back on the programme for the 2016 Games.


Rugby sevens is among seven sports being considered for inclusion in the 2016 Olympics.


But it is hoping that the historical role it played in the formation of the Olympic Movement will help persuade International Olympic Committee (IOC) members to choose them when they make a decision at its annual session in Copenhagen in October 2009.


A new brochure, Impact, has been published by the International Rugby Board (IRB) which celebrates these links but also draws attention to how popular the sport has become around the world in recent years.


He said: "The addition of rugby to the Olympic programme would reunite the Games with a sport - and spirit - that helped inspire the modern Olympic movement."


It was a visit to Rugby School in England, where the sport was invented and was also the setting for the book Tom Brown's Schooldays, in 1886 that helped inspire Baron Pierre de Coubertin to found the Modern Olympics.


Impact said: "De Coubertin gained inspiration from Rugby School's educational ethos - a philosphy reflected in the sport to which it gave its name.


"A sport with a unique spirit.


"That spirit still lives on in the sport of rugby and in the International Olympic Committee."


De Coubertin was voted in the Rugby Hall of Fame in 2007.


The sport appeared in four of the first seven Olympics, including the 1908 Games in London when Australia beat Britain in the final.


It was last played at the Paris Olympics in 1924 when a team from the United States beat the favourites France 17-3 to claim the gold medal.


It was dropped after that but rugby has since made several attempts to get reinstated, including for the 2012 Olympics.


But there is more confidence that they will be successful this time as rugby sevens has recently proved popular at the Commonwealth and Asian Games.


It will make its debut in the Pan American Games in 2011.


Impact said: "Sevens offers the opportunity to bring colour, large crowds and excitement to the Olympic Stadium over the first few days of the Games.


"To set a youthful and vibrant tone for the rest of the competition.


"And it offers to extend the range of countries campable of winning medals.


"To give nations such as Fiji, New Zealand, Kenya and Argentina new chances to experience all the inspirational power of an Olympic gold medal on future generations."