Marlie's predictions for Rio
With Rugby Sevens making their first appearance in 80 years at the Summer Olympics, we caught up with Marlie to find out her predictions ahead of the games.
Rugby at the Summer Olympics
'With rugby making a return to the Olympics for the first time in over 80 years this is massive, not only for me but for the sport as a whole. For me I just love playing rugby and it takes me to where it takes me. Two years ago, I never thought about the Olympics. Winning the World Cup was one thing but this would be on a whole other scale. It’d be an honour and I know that my family would be proud. It would be an incredible achievement.
For the sport, it just puts rugby back on the world stage in the biggest sporting event of all. Everyone watches the Olympics and regardless of the sport, people get involved. It is showing Rugby Sevens as a stand aside quality sport and with the women’s team taking part and playing at such a high standard it’s incredible. It’ll be such an exciting game and event to watch.'
How do you think Team GB will fare?
'Well, we’re going for Gold. There is no reason and no way that we would think below that. The talent we have in the squad and the chemistry between us is second to none. If we aim below that first place threshold then we’re just limiting ourselves. All of the players that go will have their part to play – it’s an incredible thing to be a part of.
You can’t write any team off. Ireland, Spain and Japan along with USA who are amongst the top six are all looking like good competition. But Sevens is such a quick game, anything can happen. You can be off your game for one match, taking you out of the tournament entirely.'
Is there a home advantage?
'Do I think being on home turf will give Brazil the edge? No. I think Brazil will play well, they’re a team that come out of the blocks at you and you never know what you’ll get with them, it’s anyone's game. My top six teams for the tournament have to be New Zealand, Australia, Canada, USA, Fiji and of course Great Britain; everyone will have to come out on form and show their best to take home the gold.
With Sevens it is literally anyone's game; the end result could be anything. New Zealand lost in Dubai to one of the underdogs and they were favourites to win throughout. It’s just a case of turning up, giving it your best and whoever is on their 'A' game on the day will come out on top. That’s the amazing thing about Sevens. Every little thing counts.
You’re looking at New Zealand, Canada and Fiji, they’ve done really well in the World Series circuit. New Zealand have won the World Series the last two times and Australia came out and did great in Dubai. It’s just a case of not looking too far ahead, taking each day as it comes and when it comes to Rio going all out; doing all we can pre-game so that we can perform on the day.'
What are you most looking forward to?
'I don’t think I can pick just one thing that I’m looking forward to. I’ve been to Brazil before but never to Rio and this is such a massive experience. Only a handful of people are even given to the opportunity to play in the event and it's incredible to be amongst them. Getting picked for the squad and representing Great Britain at the Olympics would be such a huge personal achievement and it would be great to play my small part in making history.'