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‘I’m proud’: Gaston Revol makes history with 100th SVNS tournament

By Finn Morton
Gaston Revol of Argentina celebrates after their sides victory during day 2 of HSBC Dubai Sevens at Sevens Stadium on December 3, 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Gaspafotos/MB Media/Getty Images)

With thousands of supporters watching on at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday afternoon, SVNS veteran Gaston Revol was celebrated by all as a history-maker on the international series.

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With players from Argentina and France lined up in the tunnel and raring to go ahead of their Pool B clash, the SVNS world stood still as one legendary individual ran out onto the field.

Revol was met with deafening cheers of celebration by the incredible Cape Town crowd as they recognised the Argentine as the first person to play in 100 HSBC SVNS tournaments.

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The SVNS centurion thanked the crowd for their meaningful support with a humble clap over his head before turning to greet his teammates as they ran out to meet him.

SVNS heavyweights Argentina celebrated the milestone moment with a 21-7 win which saw them take top spot in their pool ahead of a final match against Fiji on day one.

Walking off the field and down the tunnel, Revol wasn’t making this event or moment about him at all. Revol was talking with teammates as they made their way towards their changerooms but stopped for a minute to discuss his unrivalled achievement.

“For me it was a very nice moment,” Revol told RugbyPass. “I have been saying that the importance thing is the present, is now, this tournament, this team, is what we’re doing on the field.

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“I feel really proud of this career. I’m proud of still being here with these guys and enjoying our present.

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“The person in charge, or the one who made the big difference was ‘Santi’ – Santiago Gomez Cora,” he added.

“Since he started, he tried to change our minds, to change the structure, to change a lot of things that we were doing wrong. The man responsible is him.

“Of course I have been a part of the process and I am also really proud of what we’ve done all these years.”

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Revol has played a leading role in Argentina’s recent SVNS revolution, but the playmakers’ legacy goes so much further than a couple of years of greatness and accomplishment.

After debuting for the Los Pumas Sevens in 2009, Revol has only missed 16 tournaments – as reported by World Rugby, there have been 115 events since his debut.

But the rugby Gods were cruel to the SVNS veteran during the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, with Revol receiving a red card during Argentina’s quarter-final win over South Africa.

Argentina went on to win a once unlikely bronze medal at the Tokyo Games, and have since gone on to win four SVNS cup finals – including a famous win in Hamilton, New Zealand.

“There are plenty of moments, plenty,” Revol said when asked to pick a career highlight.

“If I had to choose one, it’s perhaps the Olympics but I was crying there because I was out because of the red card.

“Perhaps Hamilton when we beat New Zealand in the final. If I had to choose one it would be that.”

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J
Jon 1 hours ago
Sam Cane was unfairly cast in Richie McCaw's shadow for too long

> McCaw’s durability and sustained excellence were unique, but we seemed to believe his successors were cut from the same cloth. It’s easy to forget McCaw was just as heavily critiqued for the last two years of his career. The only real difference was his captaining criticisms and his playing criticisms happened at different times, where Cane was criticized for a few things in both areas for all of his last 4 years. This was also heavily influenced by another McCaw esque presence, in Ardie Savea, being in the team and pushed out of his original position. It could be said we essentially didn’t have the 3 prior years with Ardie as world player of the year because he was changing into this new role. I say “original” position as despite him never coming out and saying his desire is to perform his role from, that I know of, clearly as part of a partnership with Cane as 7, I don’t think this was because he really wanted Cane’s playing spot. I think it most likely that it comes down to poor All Black management that those sort of debates weren’t put to bed as being needless and irrelevant. It has been brought up many times in past few months of discussions on articles here at RP, that early calls in WC cycles, to say pigeonhole an All Black team into being required to have a physical dynamo on defence at 7 (and ballplyaer at 8 etc) are detrimental. In the end we did not even come up against a team that threw large bodies at us relentlessly, like why we encountered in the 2019 WC semi final, at all in this last WC. Even then they couldn’t see the real weakness was defending against dynamic attacks (which we didn’t want to/couldn’t give 2019 England credit for) like the Twickenham Boks, and Irish and French sides (even 10 minutes of an English onslaught) that plagued our record and aura the last 4 years. It really is a folly that is the All Blacks own creation, and I think it pure luck, and that Cane was also such a quality All Black, that he was also became an integral part of stopping the side from getting run off the park. Not just rampaged. > The hushed tones, the nods of approval, the continued promotion of this nonsense that these men are somehow supernatural beings. I bet this author was one of those criticizing Cane for coming out and speaking his mind in defence of his team that year. Despite the apparent hypocrisy I agree with the sentiment, but I can only see our last captain as going down the same road his two prior captains, Read and McCaw, have gone. I am really for Cane becoming an extra member to each squad this year, June, RC, and November tours, and he is really someone I can see being able to come back into the role after 3 seasons in Japan. As we saw last year, we would have killed for someone of his quality to have been available rather than calling on someone like Blackadder. Just like the Boks did for 2023.

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