France defeated Spain 20-0 in the final of the Rugby Europe Grand Prix Series in Malemort, Brive, on Sunday to qualify for the rugby sevens event at Rio 2016.
France join Women’s World Sevens Series top four qualifiers, New Zealand, Canada, Australia and England, host nation Brazil and the American regional qualifiers, Colombia and USA in Rio de Janeiro next year, while runners-up Russia head to next year’s world repechage.
Russia went into the second and final leg of the series top of the standings, knowing that qualification for the final would see them book their ticket to the Olympics.
They scored 96 points to none in reply in recording three straight wins against Ukraine, Italy and Spain to top Pool A and qualify for the semi-finals. There they met France, the French having only finished second in Pool B following a surprise defeat to Netherlands.
The other semi-final pitted England against Spain.
Christelle Le Duff, Camille Grassineau and Caroline Ladagnous all touched down as France outscored Russia three tries to one in a 19-10 victory that kept their qualification hopes alive, knowing only a victory in the final would be enough.
Spain, meanwhile, recorded only their second win over England since the European sevens circuit began to book a date with the hosts in Sunday’s showpiece match.
The final was a one-sided affair with France opening up a 15-0 half-time lead thanks to tries from Ladagnous, Fanny Horta and Grassineau. Rose Thomas added a fourth three minutes before the end of the match for a final scoreline of 20-0.
Russia, who beat an experimental England team 32-7 to take third, will be joined at the world repechage by three other European teams, based on results from the next qualifiers in Lisbon.
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