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Back to reality: Silver medalist Marcus Watson reflects on Rio adventure

  • Silver-medalist Marcus Watson is looking forward to getting back to work at Newcastle
  • Team GB finished in second after beating South Africa in the semi-final
  • The winger backed GB teammates Dan Bibby and Tom Mitchell’s potential switch to XV’s
Olympic silver-medalist Marcus Watson is looking forward to getting back work with the Newcastle Falcons following his adventure in Rio with Team GB.

The British squad only assembled 10 weeks before the event, but they came together in spectacular fashion. Sevens powerhouses New Zealand and South Africa were both beaten on their route to the final – as were Japan, Kenya and Argentina – but they came up against an inspired Fiji in the gold-medal match.

The 25-year-old, who scored a last-gasp winner for Simon Armor’s men against Japan during the Pool stage, described the Olympic village as the human Jurassic Park of athletes and took full advantage of his time in Rio by attending the tennis final in which Great Britain’s Andy Murray won gold.

“It was a special experience, we have these medals for life now.” revealed the Newcastle speedster.

“I watched the Olympics when I was young with my two younger brothers but with all of us playing rugby I never thought this would be possible.

“I hope that some of our performances will have inspired some people. I want young people to watch that and think they can win an Olympic medal.”


In only 10 weeks the players from England, Scotland and Wales came together to produce an amazing run to the final. And although Team GB lost 43-7 against Fiji in the gold medal match, Watson was quick to admit the Pacific Islanders were deserved winners and without doubt are the best team in the world.

“In all honesty, Fiji have been world-class over the last two years and if you’re looking at their record in world series tournaments you could say they deserved to win,

“We would have loved to have won but when you play Fiji like that they’re unstoppable.”



Watson is now excited to get back onto the Kingston Park pitch with Newcastle Falcons.

“Because my focus had been on the Olympics up until a couple of weeks ago I haven’t had too much time to think about the Aviva Premiership season, but I’ve been back for a short while now and it is abundantly clear how much hard work has been going in from the lads.

“The task for me is to switch on to that and catch up with them. I have to get up to speed as quickly as possible and that is now my only thought.

“It is an exciting time to be at the Falcons and you can sense how up for it everybody is. We have added plenty of quality during the summer and I just can’t wait to put my hat in the ring again.”



Following the silver at the Rio Olympics, Tom Mitchell and Dan Bibby of the Sevens team have been linked with a step-up to the 15-man game – and Watson has backed them to succeed should they make the transition.

“I think they’d both be able to do really well to be honest.

“They are both unbelievably fit, very quick and are world-class playmakers; so I think they could settle into the 15’s game nicely.”

Watson will miss Newcastle Falcons opening game of the season next Friday as he recovers from a little bit of tendonitis but ‘isn’t far away’. Powerhouse winger Vereniki Goneva nevertheless could make his debut for the North East side in front of the Kingston Park faithful.


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