Olympics Rio 2016The International Rugby Board has announced that the Brazil men’s and women’s teams will automatically qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Rugby Sevens events.

Confirmation follows ratification by the International Olympic Committee of the inaugural Rugby Sevens qualification process that will feature a blend of the existing men’s and women’s Series structures, regional competitions and a world play-off, ensuring universal representation and the participation of the best teams and players.

The decision to automatically qualify the host nation in both the 12-team men’s and women’s competitions underscores the growing strength of Rugby in Brazil and the IRB’s commitment to further drive growth of the sport across a nation where Rugby participation has grown by more than 25 per cent since 2011.

IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “The decision to include Brazil is good for Rugby, good for Brazil and good for the Games. Rugby in Brazil is experiencing rapid growth and inclusion will generate further impetus and excitement, while giving the Brazilian Rugby family and sports fans across the nation something really special to look forward to at their home Olympic Games.”

“We are excited and honoured for Rugby Sevens to be making its Olympic Games debut in Rio and believe that the Games will be great for Rugby and Rugby will be great for the Games. We are working in partnership with the Rio 2016 Organising Committee and the IOC to deliver a Rugby Sevens event that delivers outstanding competition, showcases our most skilful players, delivers a very special vibrant atmosphere and engages new and young audiences around the world.”

Rio 2016 Organising Committee President Carlos Nuzman said: “We are delighted that the IRB has taken this decision which will not only increase excitement for Rugby’s return to the Olympic Games in Rio but also help create further positive momentum for the sport of Rugby in Brazil.”

The IRB will continue to collaborate with the Brazil Rugby Union and the Rio 2016 Organising Committee to further the profile and reach of the Game in Brazil in the countdown to the Games. In 2013 the IRB injected US$400,000 into Rugby in Brazil to enhance the Union’s development and high performance structures, while 9,000 children were introduced to the sport for the first time through the IRB’s Get Into Rugby programme. On February 21-22 Sao Paulo will host the third round of the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series with Brazil currently ranked eighth.

Under the qualification structure for the men’s competition, four nations will qualify from the 2014/15 Sevens World Series, one nation from each of the six IRB regional competitions, one from the world play-off and automatic qualification for Brazil.

The women will follow a similar format with four teams confirmed via the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series, six from the regional competitions, the world play-off winner and automatic qualification for Brazil.

Lapasset added: “We are delighted to be announcing a truly global qualification structure that presents the opportunity for all our Member Unions to participate, ensures at least one team from each IRB region qualifies and delivers the best teams and players to ensure Rugby Sevens contributes significantly to the success of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.”

“This structure comes with the full support of our national Member Unions, who are excited at the prospect of competing on the world’s greatest sporting stage and showcasing Rugby Sevens to new audiences in Brazil and around the world.”



7 Responses to 2016 Olympic Qualification

  • 1

    WOW that’s GREAT.

    So Brazil are in, but Fiji, England, Wales and Scotland are OUT.

    Give the medals to NZ, SA amd Samoa in no particular order and save everyone a few bucks.

  • 2

    1 @ Scrumdown:
    I do not undersand how you arrive at that.

    I understand that the individual UK countries, might have to combine to participate as the United Kingdom…

    But why Fiji?

    … and I think a UK side would be serious opposition for SA & NZ…

  • 3

    2 @ grootblousmile:
    Fiji are banned from the olympics due to the military dictatorship that seized power by Coup-de-Tat as far as I am aware.

    Team GB are consistently POOR performers at the olympics in most team sports. Just too much “tribal” tension.

    Ireland is different.

    Northern Irishmen (from Ulster) are allowed to compete at the Olympics either in Team GB, or in the Republic of Ireland’s team. So there 7′s team will in all likelihood be much the same as that that (doesn’t really) compete in the HSBC Series.

    It must be borne in mind that the United Kingdom does not send a team to the olympics, but Great Britain does.

    The UK is officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain (England, Scotland and Ireland) and Northern Ireland.

    Hence my assertion, Papua New Guinea have more chance of winning a medal at the Olympic 7′s than England.

  • 4

    @ grootblousmile:
    Just checked. Seems I am wrong and it appears that Fiji are still allowed to compete at the olympics.

    So if the 7′s team still have a coach, and the FRU have enoegh money to send the team AND they win a medal, it will be Fiji’s FIRST EVER OLYMPIC MEDAL ever.

  • 5

    3 @ Scrumdown:
    UK & GB… same thing… man!

    Whether it be the United Kingdom of Great Britain, or just Great Britain.. cum sie, cum sa.

    Won’t be a walk-over for anybody!

    OK, so Brazil and the smaller nations stand no chance… but NZ, SA, Aus, GB, Samoa, Fiji (if they are included), France, Kenya and even Canada and USA will fight hammer and tongs to take it.

  • 6

    5 @ grootblousmile:
    Sorry but I can’t agree with you, and I’m sure that nobody from Northern Ireland, and the vast majority of people from mainland Britain would either.

    The UK includes Northern Ireland. Great Britain doesn’t.

    You use basically the same arguement that contests that Swaziland should be included in South Africa as it was once part of the Transvaal Republic?

    I contest that there are only 4 teams capable of winning the gold medal.

    You and I both know that what you say is true about some of the “smaller” teams, but we also know that the real odds of Kenya, Canada or the USA causing an upset is HIGHLY unlikely.

  • 7

    Many members of Fiji government have travel restrictions, but not the sportsmen.

    Fiji’s military government revealed a new constitution in August 2013, but there have still not been democratic elections.

    Fiji has had 4 Coup’s in the last 25 years.


Bam Advert

Bornman Graphic