St Mary’s University student Jak Rossiter is keen to win a gold medal for the second time after being named in Great Britain Men’s University sevens team that will take part in the FISU World University Championships in Swansea.
Jak had a successful outing with the GB Students sevens team in the 2014 FISU World University Championships held in Brazil, where his team defeated Belgium by 17-7 in the final.
He was also a key member of this season’s BUCS title winning team - St Mary’s Rugby Union 1s and was named in the 12-man GB Students sevens squad earlier this month that will take part in the mega event in Swansea.
Jak expressed his delight at his university's progress in the last one-year and lauded the contribution of its president and RFU.
“This year, through the work of our president and the help of the RFU we [St Mary’s Rugby Union 1s] have been able to grow the club [from eight paid members last season] to 180 players.
“We won our league, gained promotion, won our varsity match against Brunel and have been nominated for BUCS’ Club of the Year Award,” says Jak.
Recollecting the successful 2014 season in Brazil, Jak believes the experience of the players played a huge role in winning the title and is hopeful of defending the championship this time around.
“In 2014 we were the fittest and most experienced sevens side at the Championships. I think this was evident when we beat Japan in the final play of the game in the quarter-finals having come from behind to win. Also the trust that all the players had in one another benefited us hugely.
“I would love for us to be able to retain our title. It was an unbelievable feeling winning last time. Teamwork will be a key factor in having a chance at achieving that goal. We have a very strong group of players and we need to identify what each other will bring to the table and how to best utilise each other’s skills,” adds Jak.
FISU’s 2016 World University Rugby Sevens Championship which will be partnering with BUCS will comprise of 20 university teams (10 each from Men and Women) across 16 nations including Italy, France, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand amongst others will be played between 6th and 9th July.
BUCS’ international programme has played a significant role in elevating the rugby career of a number of students including the likes of Sam Cross, Luke Treharne and current England sevens captain, Tom Mitchell.
Being a prominent member of University sevens, Jak is hopeful of representing England sevens team in future with an aspiration to compete in the next Olympics.
“Teammates from both teams [England Students and Team GBR (2014)] have gone on to play professional rugby both at 15s and at Sevens.
“I would love to play on the World Series with England Sevens, and if I were lucky enough to be offered that opportunity, I’d make the most of it and hopefully push for a place at the next Olympics,” says Jak.