Rio 2016 sees the introduction of Rugby Seven’s to the fray and the Wolf has you covered on all teams competing.
Coach: Ben Ryan
Star Player: Osea Kolinisau – the captain of Fiji’s World Rugby Seven Series Champions and flag bearer of his nation. With over 200 caps Osea has been around the game long enough to know any team can win on their day and will need his squad to be on their game from the get go.
2015-16 World Rugby Sevens Series Standing: 1st
Squad: Apisai Domolailai, Jasa Veremalua, Josua Tuisova, Kitione Taliga, Leone Nakarawa, Osea Kolinisau (c), Samisoni Viriviri, Savenaca Rawaca, Semi Kunatani, Seremaia Tuwai, Vatemo Ravouvou, Viliame Mata
Fiji is competing in their 13th Olympic Games and are near certainties to win their first ever medal, all be it one made of gold. The back-to-back World Series Champions have their nations Olympic hopes and dreams hanging on their shoulders and the Wolf thinks Ben Ryan will pull through with the goods. A lot of chat was made early around Jarryd Hayne joining the squad but such is the depth in the Fiji squad he never really got a look in. First up Fiji go up against the home nation and Brazil will be lucky to get within 50 of the flying Fijians.
Coach: Neil Powell
Star Player: Werner Kok – South Africa’s strike weapon out the back is the none other than the reigning Sevens Player of the Year. A mix of both speed and power make him near impossible to tackle when his on song and if South Africa are to win the gold medal they will need him all guns blazing.
2015-16 World Rugby Sevens Series Standing: 2nd
Squad: Cecil Afrika, Tim Agaba, Kyle Brown (c), Juan de Jongh, Justin Geduld, Werner Kok, Cheslin Kolbe, Dylan Sage, Seabelo Senatla, Kwagga Smith, Philip Snyman, Roscko Speckman
South Africa will be hoping to go one better than their World Rugby Seven Series. Featuring 2 of the biggest stars in the game – Kok and Senatla – they are well truly in with a chance for the gold. Senatla is in phenomenal form this year scoring 66 tries with his nearest rival 18 behind on 48.
Coach: Gordon Tietjens
Star Player: Sonny Bill Williams – Who else! SBW has done it all whatever sport he has competed in – 2 time Rugby World Cup Winner, 2 time NRL Premiership Winner, Super Rugby Winner and undefeated in his Boxing career. A transition from the backs to the forwards is a welcomed challenge and he will want to return to the Auckland Blues with a gold medal around his neck.
2015-16 World Rugby Sevens Series Standing: 3rd
Squad: Scott Curry (c), Sam Dickson, DJ Forbes, Akira Ioane, Rieko Ioane, Gillies Kaka, Tim Mikkelson, Augustine Pulu, Teddy Stanaway, Regan Ware, Joe Webber, Sonny Bill Williams
The New Zealand team have pulled Liam Messam and Sonny Bill Williams from the All Blacks to make the sevens side a frightening line-up. 3rd place in the recent World Rugby Sevens Series was seen as a disappointment from the New Zealand public and they won’t want to be making the same mistakes at Rio.
Coach: Andy Friend
Star Player: Ed Jenkins – Current skipper and Australia’s most capped Sevens player all time leads this Australian team from the front. With over 100 tries to his name in the Sevens World Series he is sure to get over the white line more than a few times.
2015-16 World Rugby Sevens Series Standing: 4th
Squad: Nick Malouf, Jesse Parahi, Henry Hutchison, Lewis Holland, James Stannard, Con Foley, Cameron Clark, Pat McCutcheon, Ed Jenkins (captain), Allan Fa’alava’au, John Porch, Tom Cusack
Unlike our neighbours across the ditch, the Australians have elected to not select any Rugby Union superstars. Going for an experienced Sevens squad could prove to be a masterstroke for the Aussie’s and the Wolf expects a podium finish for the Green and Gold.
Coach: Mike Friday
Star Player: Chris Wyles – with over 200 appearances for Saracens, the English Premiership club, Wyles there are no question on his talents. Having been a part of the 2007, 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cup squad he brings experience in spades. Within the squad he has the best try to event ratio at 4.15 and they will need him to continue these efforts throughout the tournament.
2015-16 World Rugby Sevens Series Standing: 6th
Squad: Zack Test, Madison Hughes (c), Folau Niua, Carlin Isles, Perry Baker, Chris Wyles, Maka Unufe, Danny Barrett, Andrew Durutalo, Garrett Bender, Ben Pinkelman, Nate Ebner
The United States are on the improve and in years to come will be a force to be reckoned with. This year in the Sevens World series they finished in 6th place, a considerable improvement on 13th place the previous season. With New England Patriots safety Nate Ebner in the squad they will be an entertaining team to watch and aren’t without a hope for a medal.
Don’t forget to check out our full coverage of the Olympic Games.