POSTED: September 23rd 2008

Richie McCaw wants rugby back in the Games

Richie McCaw: Olympic connections /
Richie McCaw: Olympic connections /

Special Correspondent / Sports Features Communications

AUCKLAND: Richie McCaw, captain of New Zealand’s All Blacks, has joined the swelling rugby chorus backing the sport’s re-entry into the Olympic Games.

Flanker McCaw believes that success for rugby union in next year’s vote for the inclusion of sevens in 2016 would underline the sport’s global reach.

McCaw will be making an Olympic connection when he plays for the Barbarians select XV against world champions Australia at Wembley in December.

The match marks the centenary of rugby’s appearance in the London Games of 1908 and is intended to send out a message to the IOC ahead of the Copenhagen decision in October 2009. The other six sports campaigning fro admission are baseball, golf, karate, roller sports, softball and squash.

“For a rugby player to go to the Olympics would be the ultimate in sport," said McCaw. “Look at all the other sports that people do: world championships are good but it is the Olympics that really are the one.

“Obviously the Rugby World Cup is pretty significant but Olympic status would make the Game hugely global, it would bring in the Americans and all that and expand the whole game worldwide.”

The last time rugby featured in the Olympics was at the Paris Games of 1924 when the United States won the gold medal. Thus the US wheelchair rugby team's recent success in Beijing means they are the reigning Olympic and Paralympic champions.

The president of the International Rugby Board, Bernard Lapasset, and the chief secretary Mike Miller attended the Beijing Olympics to canvas support for the readmission campaign as representatives of an IOC-recognised sports federation.

Keywords · Richie McCaw · rugby union · sevens · New Zealand · All Blacks · International Rugby Board · IRB · Barbarians · 2016

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