U.S. men's and women's rugby sevens teams have high hopes for Rio 2016

In what was, to date, the last rugby match played at the Olympics, France beat Germany in the final 19 to That day, William Webb Elis invented rugby. Archived from the original PDF on 24 June Sign Up for our Newsletter Don't get stuck on the sidelines! Watch on TV

June International Predictions

Men's events

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No team results found. Remove or add writers to and from your list of favorites My Favorite Writers. In keeping with tradition, the trophy of the sevens world cup tournament, first played in , is called the Melrose Cup. All of the games in the rugby tournaments at Rio will be played in the 15,seat Deodoro stadium in the west of the city. Since each contest lasts just 15 minutes, squeezing multiple games into the daily schedule is simple. There will be 12 teams split into three groups of four, and group-stage games will be played over the first day and a half.

Eight teams will advance to the knockout phase from the three pools—the first and second place teams, plus the best two third-place teams.

Quarterfinals will be played on the afternoon of the second day, semifinals the morning of the third, and then the medal rounds later that afternoon. Brazil, as host nation, gets an automatic entry. For the other teams, the first way to qualify for Rio was coming top four in the Sevens World Series.

In general, rugby sevens offers a much deeper pool of teams than a-side rugby union. Though New Zealand and England each have the same number of titles in 15s as they have in sevens, two and one, respectively, Fiji, which has never gone further than the quarterfinal stage in the main world cup, ties the Kiwis with two titles in sevens. And from until last year, Ireland, ranked No. However, the attraction of winning an Olympic gold medal, or even simply just being part of the Games, could draw players back to sevens.

All Black center—and undefeated heavyweight boxer—Sonny Bill Williams is planning to win the world cup this fall, then switch to the sevens team and train for Brazil. Wallabies fly-half Quade Cooper turned down a lucrative deal with French club team Toulon to do the same. The challenge for those players who want to succeed at both 15s and sevens, though, appears exhausting. One intriguing factor in the Olympic Games will be the fate of the British teams.

The politics of international rugby mean that England, Scotland, and Wales usually play as separate countries, and that Northern Ireland plays with the Republic of Ireland in a unified team. If Ireland fails to qualify, though, some may be tempted to challenge that rule. Both have already qualified, and both are riding high on recent results. Even if the Eagles lose their almost century long grasp on the Olympic crown, rugby is beginning to flourish again in the United States.

According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, the number of high school boys playing rugby doubled between —09 and —14 and the number of girls tripled—though the totals, 1, and , respectively, are still dwarfed by other sports. Many of the U. Bernstein also narrowly missed out on a place at Sochi , as she tried to balance commitments in rugby, grad school, and bobsled.

In contrast, captain and scrum half Madison Hughes, born and raised in London, grew up playing rugby.

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A look at the projected medal count for the top 10 countries, plus gold, silver and bronze medal picks for all events at the Rio Olympics. Rugby’s International Federation, World Rugby (previously known as the International Rugby Board), was founded in a try during the Men's Rugby Sevens Bronze medal final match between Japan and South Africa on Day 6 of the Rio Olympics at Deodoro Stadium on August 11, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Rugby union was not played at the games in St. Louis, nor at the Intercalated Games, but was included in , when the Olympics were held in the sport's native country. The Rugby Football Union (RFU) was involved in the organization of the sport at this edition of the Olympics.

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