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IRB rolls out Rio 2016 7s qualification

TREU-TWONAIROBI, Kenya, February 6 – Kenya 7s team will have to finish among top four at the 2014/15 HSBC Sevens World Series to book an automatic qualification slot in the 2016 Olympics Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Other options available for Paul Treu’s side that is currently on tour in New Zealand are winning International Rugby Board (IRB) regional tournaments or the lottery of a world play-off.

Sevens rugby will make its debut at the quadrennial sporting carnival in Brazil with the IRB confirming Thursday that both men’s and women’s teams from the hosts will take one of the 12 slots reserved for the competition.

“We are excited and honored for Rugby Sevens to be making its Olympic Games debut in Rio and believe the Games will be great for the sport.

“We are working in partnership with Rio 2016 Organising Committee and the IOC to deliver a Rugby Sevens event that is outstanding, showcases our most skilful players and engage new and young audiences around the world,” IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said.

Qualifications for the Olympics blends existing men’s and women’s Series structures, regional competitions and a world play-off.

South Africa’s Treu was contracted by Kenya Rugby Union for three years last November to lead the nation to the Rio Olypics as the main target.

Thus far, the country is eighth in the 2013/14 HSBC World Series on 39 points meaning at the current situation, Kenya would be compelled to win the Confederation of Africa Rugby sevens tournament or be drawn in the play-off.

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.

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