Final Olympic sevens qualifiers set for Monaco and Dublin in June
Repêchage events give Hong Kong men and women last chance for Rio 2016
Monaco and Dublin will host the final rugby sevens qualification tournaments for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in June next year, World Rugby announced Wednesday.
With 11 of the 12 teams confirmed for both Olympic sevens competitions, the climax to the global qualification process will deliver a final chance for the Hong Kong men’s and women’s teams to reach the Summer Games in Brazil.
The Stade Louis II in Monaco will host the men’s tournament 18-19 June 2016 while Dublin’s UCD Bowl will host the women’s repêchage one week later on 25-26 June.A total of 16 men’s teams will compete in Monaco for the one remaining place for the Olympic sevens men’s competition, which takes place 9-11 August 2016.
Hong Kong’s men will be up against South Korea, Sri Lanka, Tonga, Samoa, Uruguay, Chile, Canada, Mexico, Spain, Russia, Germany, Ireland, Zimbabwe, Morocco and Tunisia.
The winning team will join Fiji, South Africa, New Zealand, Great Britain (England), Argentina, USA, France, Japan, Australia, Kenya and hosts Brazil at Rio 2016.
Mirroring the men’s process, 16 women’s teams will be in action in Dublin having secured a place via their regional qualifiers.
Hong Kong’s women will face Kazakhstan, China, Samoa, Cook Islands, Venezuela, Argentina, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Russia, Spain, Ireland, Portugal, Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
The winners will join New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Great Britain (England), Colombia, USA, France, Fiji, Japan and hosts Brazil in the women’s sevens competition at Rio 2016 from 6-8 August.
Monaco will follow the completion of an expanded 10-leg men’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, which kicked off in Dubai and was followed by the Cape Town Sevens last weekend.
“These are exciting times for rugby worldwide and after a record-breaking Rugby World Cup 2015, rugby sevens takes centre stage within its biggest and best year, culminating in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, said World Rugby chairman Bernard Lapasset.
“With the road to Rio having reached and inspired new audiences, we are delighted that Monaco will host some of the world’s finest men’s teams as they compete to claim a coveted final Olympic qualification place.
“There’s a real excitement around Ireland hosting the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2017 and, following on from August’s terrific qualifying tournament for the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Series, the UCD Bowl in Dublin has proved to be an excellent venue where fans will be treated to some top class women’s sevens next June.
“These final repêchage tournaments are the culmination of a long process that gives all our member unions the opportunity to participate and potentially qualify for the Olympic Games. This pathway reflects the universality and global nature of our sport,” added Lapasset.