USA Rugby launch Rio 2016 funding appeal for sevens teams

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USA Rugby have asked the American public to donate a total of $50,000 (£39,000/€45,000) to cover various costs for their men’s and women’s sevens sides which are due to compete at next month’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The governing body are hoping to offset costs for travel, expenses, equipment and other areas for the two teams ahead of rugby sevens’ Olympic debut at Rio 2016.

Those interested in helping the teams can donate to either the men’s or women’s side, with the money going to the USA Rugby Trust.

Donors who give more than $50 (£38.50/€45) to the cause will receive a special digital photo of the Olympic teams, while people who donate are also being asked to post on social media using the hashtag #MyRugbyLegacy.

“With only 28 days until the Opening Ceremony, our men's and women's Sevens teams need your support,” USA Rugby said.

“Donate to USA Rugby Trust today to help these incredible athletes realise their Olympic dreams and represent the United States on the global stage.”

Both of the United States rugby sevens teams booked their historic place at Rio 2016 by winning their respective continental tournaments in 2015.

The men triumphed at the NACRA Men’s Sevens Championships by comfortably overcoming North American rivals Canada 21-5 in the final.

In the women’s event, held alongside the men’s competition in Cary in June of last year, the US thrashed Mexico 88-0 to secure their Olympic berth.

The news follows Dan Payne being appointed as the replacement for former England international Nigel Melville as chief executive of USA Rugby.

Payne joins the governing body from his previous role as the athletics director at the Life University in Georgia, where he oversaw the addition of 10 varsity sports programmes.

The 43-year-old will begin his new job on August 1, four days before the Rio 2016 Opening Ceremony at the Maracanã Stadium.

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