Today marks 100 days to go until the Olympic Games Paris 2024 and excitement is building for the biggest and best rugby sevens tournaments yet.

Following the debut of sevens as an Olympic sport at Rio 2016 and the COVID-impacted Games in Tokyo three years ago, the sport anticipates that Paris 2024 will be its ‘coming of age’ on the grandest stage of all.

On the back of the lighting of the Olympic Flame in Greece on Tuesday, the countdown to Paris 2024 is well and truly on. And the spotlight will be on the sport like never before as sevens and football share the honour of kicking off the Games on 24 July – two days ahead of the Opening Ceremony.

The first team sport gold medal to be awarded in Paris will be to the winner of the men’s rugby sevens tournament. Antoine Dupont is hoping to lead the hosts to victory 100 years after they lost the 15s final to USA on home soil.

It should come as little surprise therefore that full houses are expected at Stade de France for all six days of action in the French capital as Fiji’s men and New Zealand’s women attempt to defend the Olympic titles they won in Tokyo.

The race for gold in Paris – birthplace of Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympics and a World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee – is certain to be run in front of passionate and knowledgeable fans as the final stages of the record-breaking Men’s Rugby World Cup 2023 were less than five months ago.

But the Games also offers sevens another huge opportunity to engage with new fans and participants from around the world.

Nielsen research estimates that sevens’ previous Olympic competitions attracted 30 million new fans to the sport globally as the exploits of Jerry Tuwai, Charlotte Caslick, Portia Woodman-Wickliffe and many others ignited imaginations.

So far, 22 of the 24 teams who will compete at Stade de France between 24-30 July have been confirmed with only one men’s and one women’s place up for grabs.

The identity of the final two teams to qualify will be decided at the World Rugby Sevens Repechage in Monaco between 21-23 June.

It promises to be a keenly contested weekend as HSBC SVNS 2024 core teams South Africa, Great Britain and Canada – the former two both Rio 2016 medallists – compete in the men’s tournament and previous Olympians China and Kenya line up in the women’s competition.

The eagerly-anticipated pools for both Olympic tournaments will be announced following the conclusion of the repechage.

On the back of a stunning and fast-paced inaugural year of the reimagined HSBC SVNS – that will conclude with next month’s regular season finale in Singapore and the first-ever Grand Final in Madrid – Paris 2024 promises to be another high point in a stellar 12 months for the sport.

“There has never been a bigger year for sevens,” World Rugby CEO Alan Gilpin said.

“The reason it’s such a big year for sevens is we’ve got an incredible Paris Olympics coming up, rugby sevens will kick off Paris 2024. We’re the first sport to start the Games.

“It’s a hugely exciting year for sevens. I think we’ve seen the players and the fans really step up to that.”