Rugby Sevens: European Nations Clinch Final Spots at the Olympic Repechage Tournament

The rosters for the rugby sevens tournament have been completed with the results of the Rugby Sevens Olympic Repechage Tournament. One quota was to be decided in the men’s tournament while two was awarded in the women’s tournament. Originally 12 teams were expected to compete, but due to COVID-19, only 9 men’s and 11 women’s teams participated. The event was held in Monaco from June 19th to June 20th 2021.

Due to the reduction of men’s entrants, the teams were contracted into two pools where the top two advanced to the semi-finals. Pool A saw Ireland and Samoa going undefeated with victories over Mexico, Tonga and Zimbabwe. In the final match of the pool to decide the winner, Ireland took a 14-0 lead by the end of the first half. A quick try at the beginning of the second half gave Samoa hope, but Ireland would go on to win the match 21-7. Both teams advanced while Zimbabwe, Tonga and Mexico finished third, fourth and fifth respectively.

Pool B saw France and Hong Kong defeat Chile and Jamaica to clinch a spot in the semi-finals. In the match to decide the group winner, France had a strong first half to take a 21-0 lead on route to win the match 36-5. Chile defeated Jamaica 31-5 to finish third in the pool.

The semi-finals were won by the European nations. France would score three tries in the first half and add another two more to blank Samoa and win 31-0. In the other match, Ireland had a strong start to get a 28-0 lead after the first half and while Hong Kong got a consolation try, it would not be enough as Ireland won 28-5. The final and the Olympic quota was initially led by France 14-7, but Ireland would score back-to-back tries from Jordan Conroy on route to win the match 28-19.

For the women’s tournament, three pools were contested where the top two and two best third place teams advanced to the next round. Pool A was won by Russia who defeated its three opponents by a combined score of 128-7, where it’s only defensive mark was against Argentina where they won 41-7. Argentina finished second thanks to wins against Mexico and Samoa. Samoa finished third thanks to a narrow 20-17 win over Mexico and advanced.

With the withdrawal of Jamaica, Pool B only contained three teams. Kazakhstan won the group thanks to hard fought victories against Tunisia (12-0) and Papua New Guinea (17-10). Tunisia finished second and advanced thanks to a 46-5 blowout against Papua New Guinea.

France showed its strength over the field by going 151-0 against Madagascar, Colombia and Hong Kong. Hong Kong finished second while Colombia finished third and grabbed the final spot to the next round thanks to a 12-7 win over Madagascar.

The eight teams were seeded based on their previous round’s performance and placed into two semi-final brackets to determine the two Olympic qualifiers. The first qualifier semi-finals were won by Kazakhstan and Russia where they defeated Tunisia 29-21 and Samoa 29-0 respectively. The second one saw Hong Kong grab a 24-5 win over Argentina while France had another high scoring performance, defeating Colombia 52-0. The Olympic quotas were won by Russia and France where they defeated Kazakhstan (38-0) and Hong Kong (51-0) respectively.

This will be Ireland’s and Russia’s first appearance at the Olympics while France makes its return after reaching the quarter-finals in 2016. This concludes the qualification process for rugby sevens.

Qualified Nations

Men’s Tournament
* Ireland

Women’s Tournament
* France
* Russia

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