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UPCOMING OLYMPIC GAMES

Tokyo 2020 #1YearToGo

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International Olympic Committee members Octavian Morariu and Patrick Baumann have been confirmed on the Olympic sevens discussion panel which will meet at the International Rugby Board (IRB) World Rugby Conference and Exhibition next month.

Others on the panel include former Argentina international Gus Pichot, who also serves on the IRB Council, the IRB's head of competitions and performance, Mark Egan, and Women's Rugby World Cup 2014-winning centre Rachael Burford for England.

The "Higher, Faster, Stronger" panel will be moderated by BBC World journalist and broadcaster David Eades.

Former international player Morariu stood down as President of the Romanian Olympic and Sports Committee earlier this year after ten years in charge, following a spell as President of the Romanian Rugby Federation from 2001 to 2003.

In July 2012, he was elected as President of the European Rugby Association and last year became only the fourth Romanian to be elected as a member of the IOC.

Baumann, secretary general of the International Basketball Federation, will join the panel to provide insight and advice on what it takes to be a successful Olympic sport ahead of rugby sevens debut at Rio 2016.

The Swiss has been an IOC member since 2007 and is currently leading Lausanne's bid for the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games.


"Rio 2016 is less than two years away and we must make sure that we make the most of the fantastic opportunity we have to showcase rugby sevens to the world," said IRB chief executive Brett Gosper.

"The 'Olympic Rugby Sevens - Faster, Higher, Stronger' panel is the perfect platform to debate the challenges and opportunities as the momentum builds towards this vital moment for our sport.

"With one month to go to the IRB Conference and Exhibition we are delighted with the growing list of high-calibre speakers and partners.

"It's going to be a fascinating conference that offers valuable insights into the issues that really matter to the Rugby family and the wider sporting community."

The inaugural World Rugby Conference and Exhibition took place in the IRB's home city of Dublin, Ireland last year.

Next month's event is due to take place at the Hilton London Metropole on November 17 and 18.

As well as discussions on rugby sevens Olympic Games debut, other items on the agenda will include a discussion panel on the Rugby World Cup which will feature the likes of England 2015 chief executive Debbie Jevans and head of Rugby World Cup Limited Alan Gilpin.

The IRB will also rebrand to become World Rugby which will become the new title for the sport's governing body on November 19.

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