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Rugby Sevens: Hong Kong to host Asia Olympic men’s qualifiers

Hong Kong (pictured at the Hong Kong Sevens) will host November’s Asia men’s Olympic qualifiers. Photo: HKSPA.

Hong Kong (pictured at the Hong Kong Sevens) will host the Asia men’s Olympic qualifiers in November. Photo: HKSPA.

May 2, 2015: Hong Kong will host the Asia men’s Olympic qualifier from November 7-8, while the continental women’s qualifier will be held at the Tokyo Women’s Sevens from November 28-29.

 

The competitions are part of qualifying tournaments in World Rugby’s six regions from June to November, which will confirm a further six men’s and six women’s teams for Rio 2016.

 

The top four teams in the men’s and women’s 2014/15 Sevens World Series will be the first to confirm their places, while Brazil has been granted automatic qualification for both men and women as the host nation.

 

The 12th and final place in both the men’s and women’s competitions will be determined via a final repechage tournament to be held before the end of June 2016. World Rugby will confirm the date and location by December 31, 2015.

 

Bernard Lapasset, Chairman of World Rugby, said: “This exciting announcement marks another significant milestone as the global rugby family counts down to rugby sevens’ Olympic Games debut at Rio 2016 when we will see rugby’s first Olympians in more than 92 years competing on sport’s greatest stage.

 

“With rugby sevens enjoying unprecedented global profile and growth and the men’s and women’s Sevens World Series set to go down to the wire in this, the most compelling of rugby sevens’ years, I am sure that the regional Olympic qualifiers will be extremely competitive, underscoring the tremendous depth of competition around the globe.”

 

South America will host the first regional qualifiers, with the men’s and women’s tournaments taking place in Santa Fe, Argentina, from June 5-7. The North America and Caribbean qualifiers will follow in Cary, North Carolina, USA, from June 13-14.

 

The Europe women’s qualifier will be held in Brive, France, from June 20-21, with the men’s competition staged in Exeter, England, from July 11-12. The Africa women’s qualifier will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, from September 26-27 before the Rugby World Cup occupies the global calendar.

 

The Asia men’s qualifier in Hong Kong from November 7-8 will be followed by the Oceania men’s and women’s qualifiers in Auckland, New Zealand, from November 14-15, the same weekend the Africa men’s qualifier will be held in Johannesburg. The Asia women’s qualifier at the Tokyo Women’s Sevens from November 28-29 is the final regional event.

 

Initial demand for tickets has been high for the six days of rugby sevens at Rio 2016, World Rugby announced. Lapasset said: “Rugby sevens, with its winning blend of high-octane action, close competition and entertainment, is proving a hit with young audiences, broadcasters and commercial partners around the world.

 

“This is why we believe that Rio will love sevens and we look forward to hosting fans in an exceptional arena at the very heart of the Deodoro complex where fans will experience the dynamic athleticism of our rugby sevens Olympians in a unique festival atmosphere.”

 

Source: World Rugby (www.worldrugby.org); Editing by SportAsia

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