England Rugby Sevens player Richard de Carpentier has been backed to make his country proud ahead of his Commonwealth Games debut tomorrow, when England start their campaign Jamaica, Samoa and Australia.
He made his England Sevens debut in 2011 and was awarded 2017 England Sevens Player of the Year.
The 27-year-old flanker, who lives in Kingston, was in the preliminary squad for Rio 2016 but had to pull out because of a hand injury, and is desperate to make up for lost time.
His father, John de Carpentier, said: “He had his heart set on going to the Commonwealth Games especially having not gone to the Olympics.
“He missed out on the Olympics because he was injured a while ago, but he’s made it into the squad which is good.
“I’m very proud of him, he’s done brilliantly, he works incredibly hard.
“He’s very proud to be representing his country.”
Rugby sevens — a variant of rugby union in which teams of seven players play seven-minute halves — is enjoying increased exposure having made its Olympic Games debut at Rio 2016, alongside a popular international tournament circuit.
The men’s game is making its sixth Commonwealth Games appearance, while Gold Coast 2018 marks the debut for the women’s game.
De Carpentier Snr added that rugby had always been his son’s passion, having played at school and progressed from there.
He said: “If he had chosen football then he’d have been paid a lot more.
“To be fair, he’s always preferred rugby.
“Rugby sevens for reasons I can’t understand gets virtually no coverage in the media, which is a pity because it’s such an entertaining game.
“It’s like the one-day cricket of rugby.”
On the game tomorrow, he added: “I’ll be working so I’ll be recording it all, and because it’s in Australia it’s overnight.
“I record all of his games, I’m very proud to watch.”