HSBC Sevens Series | Rugby | SPORTS

Big Challenge Ahead Of Fijiana 7s

The Saiasi Fulicoached side needs to finish one place higher than Great Britain and two places ahead of Ireland to qualify for Olympics
12 May 2023 10:24
Big Challenge Ahead Of Fijiana 7s
Captains of the participating men’s and women’s teams at Port de la Daurade on the bank of the Garonne River on May 10, 2023. Photo: World Rugby

The 16 men’s and 12 women’s team captains gathered on Wednesday at Port de la Daurade on the bank of the Garonne river ahead of what promises to be a nail-biting weekend of rugby sevens on 12-14 May at Stade Ernest Wallon in Toulouse.

The HSBC France Sevens marks the final event of the women’s Series where the champions will be crowned and penultimate round for the men with Paris 2024 Olympic qualification and Series glory up for grabs, while a must-see battle to avoid relegation comes to a close.

Women’s series leaders New Zealand, who have won five of six tournaments this season, can officially clinch their first Series title since 2020 by qualifying for the quarterfinals this weekend in Toulouse.

The Black Ferns Sevens, along with hosts France, Australia, the only other nation to win a women’s Series event this season, and USA have already qualified for Paris 2024, leaving the remaining spot to be decided this weekend with just four points separating Ireland (64), Fiji (62) and Great Britain (60).

If Ireland finish ahead of both Fiji and Great Britain in the endof- weekend standings, they will secure the final Paris 2024 spot.

For Fiji to claim qualification, they need to finish one place higher than Great Britain and two places ahead of Ireland while Great Britain need to finish two places higher than Fiji and three above Ireland to book their ticket to Paris next July.

Ireland women’s captain Lucy Mulhall said: “We’re feeling very excited for this weekend. It’s nice to play close to home so there we’ve got a large contingent of family coming over to watch us so we’re really excited.

“We’re hoping this weekend is third time lucky for some of us to qualify for the Olympics. There’s everything to play for and we knew going into the last tournament that it was going to come right down to the end so it’s really exciting and really special to hopefully qualify here in Toulouse with our family support behind us.”

Pool A in Toulouse features New Zealand, Canada, USA and invitational side Poland who are fresh off competing in the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series in two events in Stellenbosch last month.


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