- Head Coach Amor confirms GB Lions and GB Royals squads
- Both teams met in the final of last weekend's Sevens and the City
GB Sevens take another step forward on the road to Rio this weekend when GB Lions and Royals compete in the Mitsubishi Motors Exeter Sevens (July 9-10).
The second round of the Rugby Europe Sevens Grand Prix Series provides the squad with another opportunity to take on international opposition as the players look to stake a claim in the final squad of 12 for the Olympic Games.
Due to the time frames for selection, laid out by the International Olympic Committee, a decision will be made next week as to which 12 will go to Rio and be named publicly as part of Team GB on the 19th of July.
The GB Royals will play Portugal, Poland and fellow Olympic competitors France in the pool stages on Saturday while the GB Lions face Germany, Italy and Belgium.
Only two changes have been made from the start of the month when the GB Lions finished third in the Rugby Europe Moscow tournament, and the GB Royals lifted the plate.
As the two teams take the place of England and Wales in this summer’s series, players cannot interchange between them for the three competitions in Moscow, Exeter and Gdynia (16-17 July).
Charlie Hayter and James Rodwell therefore replace the injured Tom Bowen (knee) and Joe Simpson, who was ruled out of Olympic contention with a dislocated elbow, while Jamie Farndale, who strained his hamstring in Moscow, makes a return to action.
“It is another opportunity for Charlie and James to get more game time and show what they are capable of,” said Amor. “And it is credit to both his determination, and the work of the medics, that Jamie is able to have one last go at making the final squad.”
'IT'S A UNIQUE CHALLENGE'
"It is a unique challenge that the players face in that they want to show what they can do as individuals but need to do that within how we want to play as Team GB," said Head Coach Simon Amor.
Last weekend two teams competed in Sevens and the City at Allianz Park and, after winning their three pool games and respective semi-finals, met in a captivating final.
“That final really showed how much this opportunity means to the players but also demonstrated how there is a genuine desire for it to be Team GB first. It was a great game of sevens and this weekend in Exeter will no doubt be equally fascinating.
"The processes around selection mean that this tournament becomes even more important for everyone involved. We have always said from the start we want to send the very best team to the Olympics and this may not necessarily be the best individuals.
"It is about having the right combinations and blend of strengths and skill sets for GB.
“There is a lot of pressure on the guys heading into this weekend and it will be interesting to see how they all handle it but this pressure is great preparation for Rio."
For ticket details and more information visit: www.exeterchiefs.co.uk