Friday 9 December 2016

Samoans take step closer to Rio Sevens spot

Published 17/05/2016 | 02:30

Samoa player Faalemiga Selesele celebrates after his side's victory over Fiji Photo: Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images for HSBC
Samoa player Faalemiga Selesele celebrates after his side's victory over Fiji Photo: Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images for HSBC

On Sunday in Paris, Samoa took the latest leg of the World Sevens series. Despite their pedigree in the game, the winners of the penultimate leg in France, have still to qualify for the Rio Olympics.

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Ireland are one of 16 countries including Canada, Russia and Samoa - regulars on the World circuit - competing for that 12th and final qualifying slot along with Chile, Uruguay, Mexico, Spain, Germany, Hong Kong, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Tonga, Morocco, Tunisia and Zimbabwe.

The 11 qualifiers to date include Brazil (as host nation), Fiji, Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland combined), New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Argentina, United States, France, Japan and Kenya. With just the London leg of the 2016 World series to come, it looks like Fiji will again finish top ahead of South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.

As for a Rio favourite? It's realistically any one of six but Samoa can pip Canada for that 12th qualifying spot.

Irish Independent

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