World Rugby has announced that Monaco and Dublin will host the final rugby sevens qualification tournaments for the sport’s Olympic Games debut in Rio de Janeiro next year.
With 11 of the 12 teams confirmed for both events, the climax to the global qualification process will deliver the final men’s and women’s teams. The Stade Louis II in Monaco (pictured) will host the men’s tournament on June 18-19, while the Irish capital’s UCD Bowl will host the women’s competition a week later on June 25-26.
A total of 16 men's teams will compete in Monaco for the one remaining place for Rio 2016. They are: Uruguay, Chile, Canada, Mexico, Spain, Russia, Germany, Ireland, Hong Kong, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Tonga, Samoa, Zimbabwe, Morocco and Tunisia. The winner will join Fiji, South Africa, New Zealand, Great Britain, Argentina, USA, France, Japan, Australia, Kenya and hosts Brazil.
Mirroring the men’s process, 16 women’s teams will be in action in Dublin, having secured a place via the regional qualification process. They are Uruguay, Argentina, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Russia, Spain, Ireland, Portugal, Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Samoa, Cook Islands, Kazakhstan, Hong Kong and China. The winners will join New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, Colombia, USA, France, Fiji, Japan and Brazil.
Monaco’s event will follow the completion of an expanded men’s World Rugby Sevens Series, which kicked off in Dubai last weekend, and will see teams compete across 10 events.
World Rugby chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “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. I would like to thank Prince Albert of Monaco for his enthusiasm and determination to bring rugby sevens to an iconic stadium in a sporting city and we look forward to showcasing rugby sevens at its entertaining best.
“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 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, as teams battle it out for the final place at Rio 2016.
“These final repechage 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.”