Britain’s men’s and women’s rugby sevens sides clinch Tokyo 2020 spots
14 Jul 2019
England players celebrate after winning the final against Russia in Kazan on Sunday.
Paris: Both Britain’s seven-a-side rugby teams qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after England’s men and women won their tournaments on Sunday.
The men beat hosts France in the final in Colomiers and their female counterparts overcame home team Russia in Kazan earlier in the day in two qualifying competitions for European nations.
England represented Team GB in Olympic qualifying for the event as they did four years ago in reaching Rugby sevens’ first appearance at the Games.
Japan have automatically qualified for both competitions for their home Olympics.
Reigning champions Fiji, the US, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina and Canada have already guaranteed their spots among the 12 teams for the men’s events.
Rio winners Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada, and Brazil have qualified for the women’s tournament.
The winners from qualifying competitions in Oceania, Africa and Asia will also feature in Japan.
The two runners-up from all the tournaments will play two 12-team competitions for both men’s and women’s sides next June for the final places in Tokyo.
Meanwhile, Argentina included five European-based players but omitted Juan Imhoff from their squad for next weekend’s Rugby Championship match against New Zealand, the Argentinian Rugby Union announced.
The Argentine governing body has recently softened restrictions on individuals with contracts outside the country representing the Pumas.
Head coach Mario Ledesma picked four European-based players: fly-half Nicolas Sanchez, who is with Stade Francais, Toulon back-rower Facundo Isa, Bordeaux-Begles winger Santiago Cordero and Saracens prop Juan Figallo.
But Ledesma omitted winger Imhoff, 31, whose last international appearance came at the 2015 Rugby World Cup and plays for Racing 92 in France.