Jevon Groves eyeing Rio Olympics after sevens return

JEVON Groves has admitted the dream of representing Great Britain at the Rio Olympics was a big factor in leaving Newport Gwent Dragons to return to playing sevens.

The 26-year-old back row forward has signed a central contract with Wales Sevens after his deal with the Rodney Parade region expired at the end of last season.

Groves, who made 66 appearances over five seasons with the Dragons, will make his return in the shortened format when he represents his country at the Commonwealth Games at the end of this month.

He will then be a key figure for Wales as the sevens world starts the qualification process for Brazil in 2016.

"Rio is a big attraction," said Groves. "These are exciting times in sevens with the Commonwealth Games, the IRB World Series and the Olympics on the horizon.

"The Dragons have helped me a lot in my rugby career but I felt I was going a bit stale in the 15-man game and that I needed a new challenge.

"I spoke to (Wales Sevens head coach) Gareth Williams about coming back and he was really positive. I liked his outlook and he was keen to bring me in to pass on both my regional and sevens experience to the younger guys.

"Other countries have shown that to compete at the top level you need a blend of four or five senior figures to go along with the youngsters. Hopefully I can help with that."

Groves, who will be in the Cardiff Blues set-up when not on sevens duty, believes that Wales have the quality to climb the rankings in 2014/15.

"It's going to be an intense year and hopefully we can start the season well at the Commonwealth Games," said Groves, who was captain in Delhi four years ago.

"They were disappointed with where they came in the World Series last year (11th) and we will need to be consistent and accumulate points by competing in Cup quarter-finals.

"I think that we should be in the top six and have to aim at edging towards the likes of South Africa, New Zealand, England and Fiji.

"We can beat them on our day but we've got to do it consistently. It's not going to be easy and the hard work has to be done behind the scenes throughout the year."

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