Rugby-Britain's sevens teams get funding boost: Times

Dec 22 (Reuters) - Britain's rugby sevens teams have been handed an Olympic lifeline after the government helped arrange a 2 million pounds ($2.68 million) funding package, The Times reported here.

England’s Rugby Football Union ditched its sevens programme in August and told players their contracts would not be renewed due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sevens does not receive funding from UK Sport, the organisation responsible for investing in Olympic and Paralympic sports in the country, and England players launched a crowd-funding scheme in September.

However, The Times said the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) had partnered with the National Lottery to come up with the funds, which will allow the teams to compete in warm up events ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, which were pushed back by a year due to the pandemic.

Britain’s men won silver at the Rio Olympics in 2016 while the women finished fourth.

$1 = 0.7468 pounds Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford