The Oceania Sevens tournament, taking place in Suva, Fiji on 7-9 November, will be the next opportunity for a men’s and women’s team to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games through the regional qualification process.
The ANZ Stadium will host 15 men’s and 12 women’s teams who will battle it out over three days for a spot at next year’s Olympic Games.
Rugby sevens will make its second appearance on the Olympic Games programme in Tokyo following its successful introduction at the Rio 2016 Olympics which saw its fan-base increase by almost 17 million in six key territories (Nielsen).
The Oceania Sevens tournament will be the fifth region to host an Olympic qualification event for Tokyo 2020 after South America (men and women), North America (men), Europe (men and women) and Africa (women) hosted events in June, July and October respectively.
One direct qualification spot will be available in each of the men’s and women’s competitions with the second and third-placed teams from each section booking their place in the World Rugby Global Repechage competition in June 2020 – the final opportunity for Olympic qualification.
Winners of last year’s men’s and women’s Oceania Sevens – Fiji and Australia respectively – have already qualified for Tokyo 2020 after securing a top four finish on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2019.
Both men’s and women’s New Zealand teams, Australia women and Canada women also booked their spots for Tokyo via the world series and Japan automatically qualified as the host union.
The already-qualified teams will play in the same pools in both the men’s and women’s competitions meaning that the teams that qualify for Tokyo 2020 at the Oceania Sevens will be the winners of either Pool B or Pool C.
16 teams have so far qualified for Tokyo 2020. The men’s teams include Fiji, USA, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, Canada, Great Britain and Japan. Qualified for the women’s competition are New Zealand, USA, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Great Britain, Kenya and Japan.
World Rugby Chairman, Sir Bill Beaumont, commented: "Fiji is a nation that lives and breathes rugby sevens, so there is no doubt that the Oceania Sevens will be an excellent tournament for both players and spectators.
"As we edge closer to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, and with two qualification places up for grabs at this tournament, the standard of rugby on show will exceptionally high – we wish all teams the very best of luck."
The three-day event in Suva will also feature the Oceania Rugby Deaf tournament with men’s international deaf teams from Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Samoa participating.
Men’s Pool A: Fiji, New Zealand, Japan SDS, New Caledonia, Niu
Men’s Pool B: Samoa, Cook Islands, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Papua New Guinea
Men’s Pool C: Australia, Tonga, Nauru, American Samoa, Vanuatu
Women’s Pool A: New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Japan SDS
Women’s Pool B: Fiji, Nauru, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu
Women’s Pool C: Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Cook Islands, Tonga
Where to watch: The tournament will be live streamed on the Oceania Rugby Twitter page @OceaniaRugby.
Sky New Zealand will also be showing all men's and women's events live on Sky Sport 1.