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Stuart Pearce lending a hand to Team GB's Rio preparations

Published 06/07/2016

England head coach Simon Amor will not consider quotas when selecting the GB Rugby Sevens squad for Rio
England head coach Simon Amor will not consider quotas when selecting the GB Rugby Sevens squad for Rio

Stuart Pearce has been drafted in to help Simon Amor's Olympics Sevens squad unite under the Team GB banner in Rio this summer.

Former England football full-back Pearce has addressed Team GB's wider Olympics training squad as head coach Amor races against time to draw the best sevens stars together from England, Scotland and Wales.

Pearce talked of common passion, but has also advised sevens boss Amor on selection dilemmas, given his own stewardship of Team GB's 2012 football side.

"I've had a lot of conversations with Stuart Pearce about how he managed to bring that GB team together for London 2012, the challenges he faced in a short space of time, to bring the home nations together," said Amor.

"Stuart told me to smash the Team GB message with the players.

"He obviously had the difficult choice of not picking David Beckham, he chose Ryan Giggs instead.

"The biggest thing he said was 'hammer home that Team GB message, how big it is'.

"Everyone you speak to says it doesn't matter what you've done in the past, there's nothing that compares to this, the Olympics, the size, the scale, the feeling.

"And the other thing he said was to try to enjoy the journey, because he said it goes by just like that, in a second.

"We've tried to enforce that with the guys and they've worked so hard so far."

Amor is just as busy weighing final Rio selection as building excitement and ambition among his squad. The former England Sevens star will not though be filling any quotas when that final squad selection comes around.

Amor has insisted the top-performing players will be selected to travel to Brazil, irrespective of their nationality.

Every British and Irish Lions tour squad selection is picked apart for the numbers representing each nation, but Amor claims there will be no need for any similar process for the eventual Team GB line-up.

Amor will finalise his 12-strong squad selection on July 19, before the GB men's outfit face New Zealand, Kenya and Japan in group-stage action, starting on August 9.

"There has been no quota set," said Amor of the impending Team GB selection.

As soon as I got the job I committed 100 per cent to sending the very best team we could possibly to the Olympics.

"That meant making some tough calls for resting and recovering the England guys, knowing we needed a squad of at least 24 going in.

"But now it's about that blend and that balance, and that's what we're trying to do in training, seeing who works well together.

"So it may not be the best individual players, it may be who works best with that particular player.

"So nothing to do with quotas, we'll send what we think is the best squad."

The 24-man wider GB squad have been deep in gruelling pre-Rio training for more than six weeks now.

Amor's squad split into two teams to enter last weekend's Sevens In The City competition in London, with both reaching the final.

The GB Lions saw off the GB Royals 27-14, to raise the intensity once again on the battle for places at Rio.

Britain's two sides will face the likes of France and Spain in the 2016 Exeter Sevens in Devon this weekend, with Amor relishing both the internal and external competition.

"The players would not have it any other way than simply us selecting the players we think will make the best possible squad," said Amor.

"They've worked so hard, they've bonded really well and they've given everything. It's the only way it can be.

"Sevens is pushing yourself to dark places, it's people absolutely exhausted and falling over."

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