Team GB captain Tom Mitchell was left teary eyed after his side’s Olympic silver medal as he paid tribute to the spirit of the squad.
The group only came together 10 weeks ago but still managed to make the Olympic final, eventually losing 43-7 to World Series champions Fiji.
And Mitchell says the Team GB side deserve huge credit for the way they performed in Rio in what was rugby sevens’ debut at the Olympics.
“I had a few tears at the end of the final and that was because of the emotion of the past 10 weeks, everything that has gone with it and how hard everyone has worked,” said Mitchell when speaking to England Rugby.
“It’s been an amazing journey, everyone bought into that Team GB spirit to make it something special and this is a nice way to finish with a silver medal. It’s something the boys will remember for a very long time.”
Great Britain beat Kenya, Japan, New Zealand, Argentina and South Africa but Fiji were superb in the final, with Mitchell praising them.
“It’s phenomenal for Fiji as it is their national sport,” said Mitchell. “Those guys will go home and will be heroes, I’m really pleased for their players and their coach Ben Ryan, it’s fully deserved.”
Mitchell added on their own journey: “There were a lot of challenges along the way.
“There were those that thought we wouldn’t do anything out here so we knew we had to come and scrap and we haven’t played the most beautiful rugby all the time.
“We knew it was about digging in and working hard for each other and this medal represents not just the guys out on the field but the whole group of 27 that we started out with because the effort and work they put in has been a massive factor in our success.”