Olympics Sevens dream team for rugby
irb.com and James Mortimer 15 Aug 2012 getty
In anticipation of that, we could not resist asking fans of the Sevens Facebook page to nominate their 'Olympic Sevens Dream Team', made up from athletes competing in London 2012.
Out wide there was little surprise as Usain Bolt proved the unanimous choice as 'pace man', but in the forwards and inside backs there was plenty of debate.
While this team below represents all sports at the Olympics, what sort of team do you think the Sevens All Blacks would take to Rio in four year's time?
IRB fans Olympics Sevens Dream Team
Forward 1: Kim Un Guk won North Korea's third gold medal at London 2012 after he triumphed in world-record breaking style in the men's 62kg weightlifting. Although a little lighter than your average Sevens forward, the 23-year-old's 153kg snatch equalled the world's best and broke the Olympic record while his clean-and-jerk helped set a new benchmark of 327kg. He is immensely strong in the legs, chest and arms and tactically astute, a perfect fit for this Sevens team.
Forward 2: Standing at 6ft 8 in his socks, Carmelo Anthony is the side's aerial specialist. He is a tall and rangy athlete with great co-ordination, hands and hang time and would be the perfect athlete to compete at each restart, which is becoming increasingly important in Sevens. Anthony won a gold medal with the USA basketball team by beating Spain in the final and he ended the Olympics with 130 points.
Forward 3: Valerie Adams is a shot-putter from New Zealand who is a women's three-time world champion, two-time Commonwealth and world indoor champion. She won a gold in Beijing and initially won silver in London with a throw of 20.70 metres but has since been awarded a second gold after winner Nadzeya Ostapchuk failed a doping test. Adams fits the bill of the third forward in this Sevens team, the big ball carrier - all power and leg speed.
The Playmaker: Mikkel Hanson reached the quarter finals with Denmark in the handball competition, but ended the Games with 28 goals and 28 assists and impressed our fans throughout. He is quick-witted, cool under pressure, athletic, comfortable with ball in hand and reads a game well.
First receiver & Tactician: Ben Ainslee is this side's attack leader and tactician. Having won his fourth Olympic gold, and fifth medal overall, this sailor will set the play in motion, call the tune and put the coach's words into practice. Ainslee is undoubtedly the world's greatest ever Olympic sailor and despite Jonas Hogh-Christensen beating him in six consecutive races, the Brit showed his determination and stamina to complete a remarkable turnaround and claim his fourth gold. His quote, "they've made me angry, you don't want to do that" also shows an edge that would serve this team well.
Centre: Jessica Ennis has been named as this side's centre. Not only did Ennis demonstrate her ability to perform under pressure as Team GB's poster girl in front of 80,000 fans, she is also deceptively quick having recorded a world best time of 12:54 in the 100m hurdles in the heptathlon and is a well-rounded athlete. She's also strong enough to mix it with the 'big boys'.
The gas man: Who else would you want to receive the ball on the wing but the 100m and 200m world record holder? Usain Bolt is this side's out and out finisher. The Jamaican flyer became the first ever athlete to successfully retain the 100m and 200m titles in London, setting a new Olympic record in the latter. The crowd favourite wasn't finished there, anchoring the 4x100m relay team to a successful title defence in a world record time.
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