On Olympic Day, World Rugby and Paris 2024 have unveiled the pools for the Olympic rugby sevens competitions taking place in the French capital from 24-30 July.

The 12 men’s and 12 women’s teams were allocated to three pools of four teams based on their rankings due to performances over the last two years of the HSBC SVNS Series, Challenger Series and other World Rugby-sanctioned tournaments.

All six World Rugby regions are represented among the 24 teams who secured their spots in Paris via the HSBC SVNS Series and regional qualification competitions.

Men’s competition (24-25 and 27 July)

Hosts France and their superstar Antoine Dupont will start their Olympic campaign in Pool C together with two-time Olympic champions Fiji, USA and debutants Uruguay. In front of their home supporters, they will aim to replicate their title-winning performance in Madrid where they lifted the inaugural HSBC SVNS Grand Final title earlier this month.

SVNS league winners Argentina will also face tough competition in Pool B where they will meet Australia, Samoa and Kenya while Pool A sees top seed New Zealand grouped with Ireland, Japan and South Africa who just qualified from the World Rugby Sevens Repechage in Monaco.

Pool A Pool B Pool C
New Zealand Argentina Fiji
Ireland Australia France
South Africa Samoa USA
Japan Kenya Uruguay

Women’s competition (28-30 July)

In the women’s competition, the battle will also be fierce with three very competitive pools. Reigning Olympic Champions and SVNS League Winners New Zealand will be strong contenders and face Fiji, Canada and freshly qualified China in Pool A.

Pool B will also provide fascinating competition with Rio 2016 Olympic and SVNS 2024 Grand Final champions Australia facing Ireland, Great Britain and debutants South Africa.

Hosts France have been placed in Pool C as one of three top ranked teams and will look to improve on their silver medal at Tokyo 2020 with pool matches against the USA, Japan and Brazil.

Pool A Pool B Pool C
NZ Australia France
Fiji Ireland USA
Canada Great Britain Japan
China South Africa Brazil

World Rugby Chairman, Sir Bill Beaumont said: “We are thrilled to unveil the rugby sevens Olympic pools for what promises to be an epic, coming-of-age tournament for our sport in the French capital.

“In one month’s time, our sport will have the honour of kicking-off Paris 2024 in style with an exciting and spectacular brand of rugby that will excite the hundreds of thousands of fans in Stade de France and capture millions more hearts and minds of those watching around the world.

“Rugby sevens is a fantastic engine to grow our sport and on its third Olympic appearance is already proving to be one of the attractions of the Games with record enthusiasm for tickets, mouthwatering rivalries and two strong French national teams hoping to achieve their Olympic dreams on home soil.

“We know from Rugby World Cup 2023 what an amazing rugby show Paris can put on and the Olympic Games will be no different with knowledgeable and passionate fans expected to fill the stadium and create an incredible atmosphere for the players and teams to showcase their unique combination of speed, strength and sensational skills.”

Rugby sevens is expected to be one of the highlights of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, following the resounding success of Rugby World Cup 2023 in France. All the action will take place at Stade de France, which was the venue for the opening match and final of Rugby World Cup 2023.

The men’s competition will take place from 24-27 July, with the women’s tournament following on 28-30 July. The men’s gold medal match on 27 July will see the first team sport gold medal of the Games awarded.

Paris 2024 Sports Executive Director Aurélie Merle added: “On behalf of Paris 2024, I would like to warmly congratulate the two final teams that have qualified for the Olympic Rugby Sevens tournaments. Each tournament will be fiercely competitive, with challenging pools promising a spectacular display.

“Rugby Sevens will have the honour of kicking off the Olympic Games in Paris, with the competition beginning two days before the Opening Ceremony. France is a country passionate about rugby and we will welcome all teams to a refurbished and packed Stade de France of 69,000 seats, where the atmosphere will be electric. With just a few weeks to go, all the conditions are in place for teams to perform at their best on the pitch while having an unforgettable experience.”

The official Quantum Match Ball designed by Gilbert that will be used across the two competitions has been unveiled following the World Rugby Sevens Repechage in Monaco. Developed for the unique style of the sevens game, the Multi Matrix grip offers higher, more defined pimples which increases the ball’s surface area, enhancing the handling and offload skills shown by sevens players.

Inspired by the Paris 2024 brand, the official Gilbert ball design features the Stade de France venue colour system at its core with the famous Olympic Rings, Paris 2024, World Rugby and Gilbert at the centre of each panel.

Olympic seedings

Teams have been allocated into their pools based on their Olympic Seedings, with the first ranked team placed in pool A, second in pool B, third in pool C, then fourth in pool C, fifth in pool B, sixth in pool A, etc. The Olympic seedings were determined by the combined points gained by teams in the World Sevens Series 2023 and SVNS 2024, as well as performances in the Challenger Series and other World Rugby-sanctioned tournaments for teams not competing in the SVNS Series.

The rugby sevens Olympic match schedule will be confirmed shortly. For ticket information visit https://tickets.paris2024.org/

Meanwhile the Wheelchair Rugby pools for the Paralympic Games Paris 2024 were also announced, with the competition taking place at Champ-de-Mars Arena from 29 August to 2 September…..PACNEWS