The pools for the women's Olympic tournament in Rio have been announced.
The seeding for pools has been based on the last two years World Series results. This actually resulted in Australia and New Zealand tieing for top seed, but as current champions Australia have been given priority. Great Britain's seeding was based on England's results.
The seedings are: 1. Australia; 2. New Zealand; 3. Canada; 4. Great Britain; 5. France; 6. United States; 7. Fiji; 8. Spain; 9. Brazil, 10: Japan; 11. Kenya; 12. Colombia
As a result the pools will be:
Pool A: Australia; United States; Fiji; Colombia
Pool B: New Zealand; France; Spain; Kenya
Pool C: Canada; Great Britain; Brazil; Japan
Fixtures have yet to be confirmed, but should follow the usual World Series pattern with Pool B opening the tournament, followed by A and then C. As a result on 6th August the first Olympic rugby match since 1924 should be New Zealand vs Spain. Other first round games are expected to be France v Kenya, Australa v Fiji, United States v Colombia, Canada v Brazil and Great Britain v Japan.
Round two will then be: New Zealand v Kenya; France v Spain; Australia v Colombia; United States v Fiji; Canada v Japan; and Great Britain v Brazil
That will complete the opening day as the Olympic tournament will be spread over three days.
On day 2, 7th August, the final pool games will be played in the morning followed by the Gold Medal Quarter-finals and the Bowl semi-finals in the afternoon. The draw for the quarter-finals will follow the pattern established at this year's World Series, ie:
|QF 1||Winner Pool A v 2nd best 3rd place|
|QF 2||Winner Pool B v best 3rd place|
|QF 3||Winner Pool C v Runner Up Pool A|
|QF 4||Runner Up Pool B v Runner Up Pool C|
Day 3, 8th August, will open with the Plate and Gold Medal semi-finals, followed by the classification games, climaxing with the Gold Medal match. The draw for the semi finals will be;
|SF 1||Winner QF1 v Winner QF4|
|SF 2||Winner QF2 v Winner QF3|
Note that the classification games in Rio will also a special significance as the highest finishing team not already in the Women's Sevens World Series (so either Brazil, Japan, Kenya or Colombia) will qualify for the 2016/17 series.