France v Spain will kick off women's event at Rio 2016
Women's players from France and Spain will have the honour of becoming the first rugby Olympians since 1924 when they kick off the highly anticipated rugby sevens event in Rio 2016 on Saturday 6 August. Over the subsequent three days, 12 teams will battle it out for gold on the biggest sporting stage of all as rugby sevens makes its debut in the Olympic Games.
The full schedule of matches for both the men's and women's events has now been confirmed – each day's action is split into two sessions with six matches involving all 12 teams taking place during each session of the early stages. The final session on day three will include four matches and the medal ceremony as the identity of rugby's first Olympic champions for 92 years will finally be known.
In both competitions, the 12 sides are split into three pools of four with those pool matches taking place over the first day and a half. The top two teams from each pool, plus the two best third-placed sides, will progress to the last eight. Those quarter-finals take place on the second session of day two while the resultant semi-finals will happen in the first session of the third day along with matches to decide lower placings. As excitement builds towards the end, the fifth to eighth-place matches, the bronze medal match and then the gold medal match will light up the Games on the evening of the third day.
World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: "We are almost there. Rugby is about to make Olympic history and, after a break of 92 years, the sport is ready to return to the programme at Rio 2016 for what we are hoping will be one of the highlights of these Games.
"Rugby sevens is a fast, thrilling sport that is capturing the imaginations of millions of people around the world and it is exciting to think that millions more fans will be created when the men's and women's events are beamed globally to new audiences one month from now.
"With the confirmation of the match schedules, now the players and fans know when each game is taking place and they can prepare accordingly. It really helps to bring the whole thing a little closer and it ramps up the anticipation even more.”
See HERE for the full schedule