Monaco has been selected to host the World Rugby Sevens Repechage, the final qualification event for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, on 19-20 June, 2021
World Rugby has announced that the repechage tournament for the Tokyo Olympic Games will take place in Monaco on 19-20 June, 2021. The decision was confirmed by the World Rugby Executive Committee following a comprehensive selection process and sees the event return to Stade Louis II, which also hosted the men’s competition prior to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The final qualification event will feature 12 for two places at the Olympic rugby sevens in Tokyo, which will take place on 29-31 July, 2021 at Tokyo Stadium. The competition will feature Argentina, Colombia, France, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Samoa and Tunisia.
To ensure teams are as best prepared for Tokyo as possible, and thanks to support received from the International Olympic Committee, World Rugby is investing US$4 million into Olympic qualified unions’ sevens programmes and towards the costs of hosting inter-regional high-performance preparation events, the first of which take place in Madrid, Spain, on 20-21 and 27-28 February. The high performance event being hosted by the Federación Española de Rugby (FER) and supported by World Rugby will feature up to 12 teams participating across two successive weekends.
The event in Madrid is the first of several high-performance focused opportunities being scheduled during the first half of 2021 to assist in the development and preparation of sevens teams ahead of the Olympic Games. Further details will follow in due course. It has also been confirmed in coordination with the Fédération Française de Rugby (FFR) that two women’s events of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series will be played over consecutive weekends at the national rugby centre in Marcoussis on 15-16 and 22-23 May, 2021.
Each union that has qualified a team for the Tokyo 2020 Games has received US$100,000 per team in World Rugby funding to be directed towards rugby sevens squad training camps, competition support, technical and sports science and medical programmes.
The confirmation of the funding boost comes as collaborative contingency planning for the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2021 continues to progress with ongoing discussions regarding the delivery of men’s and women’s Series events and preparations towards a safe, secure and impactful return to action.
Due to the restrictions currently in place to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, and with positive developments in the fight against the disease beginning to emerge around the globe, the collective decision has been taken to move the scheduling of the Series events in Singapore and Hong Kong from initially proposed dates in April, to 29-30 October and 5-7 November, 2021 respectively, with Hong Kong acting as the Series finale.
A further update on contingency scheduling for the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2021 will be provided early in the new year, with a return to a full competition schedule anticipated for the 2022 edition.
It has also been decided that the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series, launched in February 2020 to boost rugby sevens’ development across the globe and provide a pathway for promotion to the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, will take place again in late 2021 involving the best regional teams that are not core Series teams striving to claim promotion to the Series.
The inaugural women's Challenger Series event scheduled to take place in March 2020 in Stellenbosch, South Africa, was unable to take place due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and therefore 2021 will represent the first women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series event.
Earlier this month the International Olympic Committee confirmed rugby sevens’ place on the Paris 2024 Olympic Games sports programme. Rugby sevens will also feature at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.