The pools for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic rugby sevens competitions have been announced by World Rugby exactly one month ahead of the men’s final at Tokyo Stadium.
The 12 men’s and 12 women’s teams have been allocated to three pools of four teams, according to rankings based upon performances in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and other World Rugby sanctioned tournaments over the past two years.
Following a successful test event involving members of the Japan national teams in April, preparations are on track for a world-class tournament at Tokyo Stadium, which proved to be an excellent host venue during Rugby World Cup 2019.
World Rugby Chief Executive Alan Gilpin said the announcement of the pools marks a very exciting step on the road to Tokyo.
“These will certainly be unique Olympic Games and we have been working very closely with the IOC, Tokyo 2020 and all other stakeholders towards delivering a safe, secure and highly impactful rugby sevens competition in Tokyo,”
“Rugby sevens is a key priority for World Rugby and the inclusion of the sport for the first time in the Games at Rio 2016 had a profound effect, attracting an estimated 30 million new fans globally. With the recent launch of our new ‘This Is How We Sevens’ campaign we are confident millions more fans will engage with the thrilling, fast-paced and action-packed spectacle that is rugby sevens,” he said.
To ensure teams are as best prepared as possible to perform on the greatest sporting stage of all, World Rugby has invested US$4 million into Olympic qualified unions’ sevens programmes and towards the costs of hosting a number of high-performance preparation events, the last of which took place in Los Angeles, USA, and Townsville, Australia, over the past weekend.
“As always, player welfare is at the heart of all our planning and we are confident that as it proved during Rugby World Cup 2019, Tokyo Stadium will be an excellent venue for the teams to inspire the world with their skill, athleticism, determination and the core rugby values of solidarity, integrity and respect.
“With the pools decided, we can now countdown the days and look forward what promises to be another memorable edition of Olympic rugby sevens,” Gilpin said.
Several teams have already announced their squads, including Canada, Japan and Great Britain’s men’s and women’s teams, and USA women.
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