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Rugby Olympic repechage events confirmed

Kenya Lionesses pose for a group photo after the travelling squad for Rio 2016 qualifiers was unveiled on September 23, 2015 in Nairobi. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

Kenya Lionesses pose for a group photo after the travelling squad for Rio 2016 qualifiers was unveiled on September 23, 2015 in Nairobi. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

LONDON, December 11- World Rugby has announced that Monaco and Dublin will host the final rugby sevens qualification tournaments for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

With 11 of the 12 teams confirmed for both events, the climax to the global qualification process will deliver the final men’s and women’s teams.

The Stade Louis in Monaco will host the men’s tournament on 18-19 June, 2016 while Dublin’s UCD Bowl will host the women’s repechage a week later on 25-26 June.

A total of 16 men’s teams will compete in Monaco for the one remaining place for Rio 2016 between August 9-11 – Uruguay, Chile, Canada, Mexico, Spain, Russia, Germany, Ireland, Hong Kong, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Tonga, Samoa, Zimbabwe, Morocco and Tunisia.

The winner will join Fiji, South Africa, New Zealand, Great Britain, Argentina, USA, France, Japan, Australia, Kenya and hosts Brazil at Rio 2016.

Mirroring the men’s process, 16 women’s teams will be in action in Dublin, having secured a place via the regional qualification process – Uruguay, Argentina, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Russia, Spain, Ireland, Portugal, Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Samoa, Cook Islands, Kazakhstan, Hong Kong and China.

The winners will join New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, Colombia, USA, France, Fiji, Japan and hosts Brazil at Rio 2016 from 6-8 August.

Monaco will follow the completion of an expanded men’s Sevens World Series, which kicked off in Dubai last weekend, and will see the world’s finest players compete across 10 series events in iconic, global destinations.

World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “These are exciting times for rugby worldwide and after a record-breaking Rugby World Cup 2015, rugby sevens takes centre stage within its biggest and best year, culminating in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

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“With the road to Rio having reached and inspired new audiences, we are delighted that Monaco will host some of the world’s finest men’s teams as they compete to claim a coveted final Olympic qualification place.

“I would like to thank Prince Albert of Monaco for his enthusiasm and determination to bring rugby sevens to an iconic stadium in a sporting city and we look forward to showcasing rugby sevens at its entertaining best.

“There’s a real excitement around Ireland hosting the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2017 and, following on from August’s terrific qualifying tournament for the Women’s Series, the UCD Bowl in Dublin has proved to be an excellent venue where fans will be treated to some top class women’s sevens next June, as teams battle it out for the final place at Rio 2016.

“These final repechage tournaments are the culmination of a long process that gives all our member unions the opportunity to participate and potentially qualify for the Olympic Games. This pathway reflects the universality and global nature of our sport.”

Irish Rugby Football Union High Performance Director David Nucifora said: “Having successfully hosted the recent World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series qualifying tournament in August, it a fantastic opportunity to bring world-class sevens back to Ireland and UCD.

“This gives us another great opportunity to showcase women’s sevens in Ireland and with a place in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio up for grabs, it is an extremely important tournament for all the teams involved.”

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