New Zealand Double at France Sevens 2023;
Ireland Women Qualify for Olympic Games
The HSBC France Sevens came to a dramatic close
on Sunday evening in Toulouse with New Zealand women and men securing double gold, while the All Blacks Sevens joined the Black
Ferns as 2023 Series champions.
It is the third time the
teams in black have achieved such a tournament double this season,
having claimed dual gold in Sydney in January and Hong Kong in
For the Black Ferns Sevens, it marked the sixth
consecutive cup title to finish the 2023 Series in style while for
the All Blacks Sevens it was their first cup title in France
dating back to 2004 in Bordeaux.
In the bronze medal matches, Australia women
defeated France 33-7 while the home fans were treated to a
thrilling men’s final where the hosts defeated Canada 28-12.
Earlier in the day, Fiji men joined Series winners New
Zealand, Argentina and hosts France as the third team to qualify
for Paris 2024, leaving one place to be decided next weekend at
HSBC London Sevens in the final event of the 2023 Series.
In the women’s competition, Ireland made history by securing the
fourth and final spot for next summer’s Summer Olympic Games by
defeating Fiji 10-5 in a nail-biter in the opening match of the
day. The size of the achievement was evident in the
celebrations that greeted the final whistle.
“It’s an absolute
credit to the girls and the whole entire squad,” Katie Heffernan
said. “This is massive for Irish rugby, it’s massive for
the girls and it’s onwards and upwards from here.”
The battle for the 11th spot on the
2024 Series, and therefore avoiding next weekend’s World Rugby
Sevens Series 2024 Play-off, came right down to the wire in the
ninth place semi-finals mid-day. Spain defeated Samoa while
Uruguay were defeated by Fiji, which saw Spain secure their spot
on the 2024 Series.
Next weekend’s play-off will consist of
a round-robin between Uruguay, Canada, who finished fourth in
Toulouse, Kenya and Tonga, the World Rugby Sevens Series 2023
champions. The opening two matches will be played on Saturday with
the final pool match taking place on Sunday morning.
top two ranked teams following the initial stage will square off
on Sunday evening with the winner securing the 12th and final spot
on the 2024 Series.
The men’s teams now move straight on to London for
the final round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2023 on
20-21 May at Twickenham Stadium.
Toulouse champions New Zealand
will face South Africa, Great Britain and USA in Pool A, while
Pool B will feature Argentina, Ireland, Fiji and Japan, who join
the tournament as the invitational team after being relegated from
the 2024 Series on Saturday in 15th position.
bronze medal winners Les Bleus headline Pool C alongside
Australia, Spain and Samoa.
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