By Tom Degun

Ben_Gollings_in_South_African_December_2010May 17 - Ben Gollings, the England rugby sevens captain, has claimed that he has targeted competed at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games as long as his body holds up.

Gollings, the all-time international sevens record points-scorer with 2,590 in 68 tournaments, has admitted that competing in Rio is a huge goal for him even though the 31-year-old from Cornwall will be 36 by the time the Games arrives.

"I think if I can manage myself properly then there is no reason why I can't make it to the Rio 2016 Olympics," Gollings told insidethegames.

"Rio is obviously a long way off but at the moment my body feels good, I feel like I'm playing good rugby and I feel like I'm competing well.

"When I get to the stage when I feel that I'm not competing as well because age is getting in the way; I might start thinking that it is time to step down for my own good and for the good of the England team.

"But at this stage, all I can do is set a goal and the goal is definitely Rio.

"I'd love to get that opportunity to compete in the Olympics if I can so I'll do whatever I can to try and get there in 2016."

Gollings admitted that rugby sevens joining the Olympics programme has given a huge boost to the sport and that interest will only increase as Rio 2016 approaches.

"The Olympic announcement has bought about huge changes to our sport already," he said.

"From our side, we are starting to see a lot more interest from sponsors and the players are becoming contracted to the sevens team which is fantastic for us.

"The events we are playing in are becoming bigger and there is a lot more media interest than before the Olympic announcement so it is really building.

"Obviously we have London 2012 coming up but once that is over, all eyes will turn to Rio 2016 and I think the spotlight will be on rugby sevens even more after that.

"It is really exciting times for everyone and obviously at the Olympics we will be playing as Great Britain rather than England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland which is even more exciting."

Although he is renowned as a sevens specialist, Gollings has vast experience in the 15-a-side game having made 82 Guinness Premiership appearances from 1999-2005 for Harlequins, Newcastle Falcons and Worcester Warriors in which he scored 151 points, including nine tries.

Gollings is hopeful that the exposure of the Olympics will help raise the popularity of the sevens game to the point where it can match the 15-a-side game but nevertheless believes the two codes of the game can work together to get more people interested in the sport.

"I think the sevens-a-side and 15-a-side game can work in tandem," he said.

"You will always have your sevens enthusiasts and your 15s enthusiasts and a big spread between the two.

"From our point of view, it would be great if we could see the Olympics help sevens rise to the level where 15s is.

"Sevens rugby certainly deserves that sort of recognition as it is such a fast-paced and exciting game to watch and the exposure provided by the Olympics can really highlight that.

"But I don't think it is one form of the game versus the other and they can certainly both function together to help each other prosper."

Gollings' next outing will be to lead the England team at Twickenham Stadium on May 21 and 22 in the Emirates Airline London Sevens, the latest leg in the HSBC Sevens World Series.

Tickets are available from £15 ($24) by clicking here

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