New Zealand sevens master-coach Gordon Tietjens has repeated calls for his players to be offered specialist contracts as they look ahead to the sport's Olympic debut in Rio.
The team arrived back in Auckland today with the World Sevens Series trophy, after claiming it for the 10th time at Twickenham on the weekend and with Tietjens fresh from his induction into the IRB Hall of Fame.
However, not one to rest on his laurels the veteran coach was already looking forward and spoke of the need to secure the future of the game's best players with the sport's introduction to the biggest sporting stage in the world.
"It just keeps growing, the crowds keep getting bigger, the competition's getting tougher, seven or eight teams now could win a tournament and we've just got to get more numbers playing the game here and I think that will happen with it going to the Olympics in 2016," Tietjens said.
With the rugby season on the verge of becoming a 12 month affair, Tietjens believes the game has reached a point where players will need to be given the option to devote their time solely to the seven man code.
"There won't be room for both, there will come a time when you won't be able to do both because of the congested rugby programme.
"A lot of other countries are already doing it and maybe some players out there that realistically can't see themselves being a Super Rugby player, realistically will never be an All Black, perhaps sevens is their career path, which would make them a professional sevens players."
New Zealand captain DJ Forbes is a prime example of a player who would benefit from full-time sevens contracts being introduced and admitted he'd like to see sevens players offered more rewards.
Forbes has spent his career juggling his sevens career with playing 15s for Counties Manukau and said his body has taken a toll.
"There's a lot of hard work that goes into the team and I think to finally get a little bit of reward in that area in terms of the pedigree and the esteem that sevens is held at is pretty special for some of us older boys that have put our hand up to try and stamp sevens as a code in itself," Forbes told ONE News today.
"Some of us have been here for the last sort of three or four years, doing back to back seasons, playing 15s and sevens simply to make a decent enough income, so hopefully over the next couple of years there will be some full sevens contracts and a path for some of the players just to focus on sevens."
Sevens has long been seen as a breeding ground for young All Blacks talent with legendary All Blacks such as Jonah Lomu, Christian Cullen and more recently Israel Dagg all bursting onto the scene in the shorter form of the game.
Tietjens stressed that fulltime contracts wouldn't prevent youngsters with ambitions of higher honours from getting a taste of the international game in sevens.
"We're still not going to deprive players with ability, schoolboys in this side for example, from moving through the grades, from going into age group rugby, Super Rugby and obviously they'll have goals now at such a young age to be All Blacks.
"We're still going to provide players with the opportunity to use sevens as a launching pad, but further out, players (who are) maybe 25, 26 are possibly more realistically perhaps looking to be sevens specialists."
NZRU CEO Steve Tew has said they will be looking to offer a handful of players full-time sevens contracts from 2014.