South Africa star Impi Visser has urged his team-mates to “make it work” this weekend as they attempt to ensure it is third time lucky in their bid to qualify for the Olympic Games Paris 2024.

The Blitzboks arrived in Monaco on Monday where they will start the World Rugby Sevens Repechage on Friday as one of the favourites to secure the 12th and final men’s ticket to the Games.

South Africa qualified for both Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 thanks to their performance on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. However, in the race to Paris 2024, they finished outside of the top four in the 2023 series and then lost out to Kenya in African qualifying.

It means the Rio 2016 bronze medallists must win the repechage tournament at Stade Louis II to reach the Games and Visser is hopeful the Blitzboks can grasp their chance.

“We really did ourselves no favours this time around,” Visser said about South Africa’s road to Monaco.

“But luckily for us, we have one more opportunity and this time we must make it work.”

Visser was part of the South Africa squad that finished fifth at Tokyo 2020 following a narrow defeat to six-player Argentina in the Cup quarter-finals.

“Some of us were in Tokyo last time around, but we did not get a podium finish, so in a way there will be unfinished business for us,” Visser added.

“However, the reality is that we need to get the job done here first, before thinking about anything else.”

Interim head coach Philip Snyman has recalled experienced duo Zain Davids and Shilton van Wyk to his squad for the repechage.

The Blitzboks will get their Pool A campaign underway against Mexico at 17:32 local time (GMT+2) on Friday before playing Tonga and Chile on Saturday.

All three of their opponents in Monaco competed in the World Rugby HSBC Sevens Challenger 2024, although only Chile qualified for the HSBC SVNS Play-off in Madrid.

Mexico finished bottom of the 12-team standings with only three points from as many tournaments, while Tonga were well off top-four contention in seventh.

Chile, meanwhile, were beaten to qualification for HSBC SVNS 2025 by a last-minute Juan Manuel Tafernaberry try as they lost 12-10 to Uruguay in their play-off.

They will hope they will join their South American rivals, who also defeated them in regional qualifying, at Paris 2024 next month, however.

Great Britain search for consistency

The top two teams in each of the three pools at the end of the pool stage will qualify for the Cup quarter-finals in Monaco, alongside the two best third-place finishers.

Great Britain will hope they have packed their form from Los Angeles and Singapore, as opposed to Hong Kong and Madrid, for their trip to Monaco.

Tony Roques’ side finished the regular SVNS season with a silver and bronze medal from their final three tournaments, although sandwiched in between those performances was an 11th-place finish at Hong Kong Stadium.

Great Britain then came eighth of eight teams in the men’s SVNS 2024 Grand Final in Madrid but Roques will hope the lure of an Olympic ticket will focus his players’ minds.

The Great Britain coach has been able to recall the experienced Alex Davis and Tom Emery, the former someone who knows what it means to represent his country at the Games.

Great Britain begin their quest for qualification against China at 15:52 local time on Friday and will take on Uganda and Canada the following day.

Uganda finished sixth in the Sevens Challenger, 20 points adrift of the top four, while Canada’s most recent tournament ended in disappointment, losing all four matches and their SVNS status in Madrid.

Canada have spent the three weeks since the SVNS Play-off training in Europe and head coach Sean White is confident his side can bounce back in style.

“As difficult as it has been, this group has turned the page on Madrid and has a sole focus on the task at hand,” he said.

“The goal is 1-0. Game by game. Moment by moment. Remaining present and steadfast on what our strengths are as individuals and how they contribute to the collective will be key for our success.

“We are aware of the challenges we will face and are ready to conquer them as they arise.”

Spain hope history repeats

In Pool C, Spain will hope for a repeat of their success in the 2016 repechage at Stade Louis II as they take on Brazil and Hong Kong China for a place in the Cup quarter-finals.

Pol Pla, who scored one of Spain’s four tries in their final defeat of Samoa eight years ago, is the sole survivor from that triumph in the playing squad.

However, two of his 2016 team-mates are part of Spain’s coaching staff. Francisco Hernández, another try scorer against Samoa, is the team’s head coach and Matías Tudela is one of his assistants.

Spain head to Monaco full of confidence too, having won all four of their matches in Madrid three weeks ago to retain their SVNS status in style.

Los Leones begin their Pool C campaign against Brazil at 15:04 local time on Friday before they take on Hong Kong China at 17:04 on Saturday.

Hong Kong China competed in the 2024 Sevens Challenger and narrowly missed out on a place at the SVNS Play-off in Madrid.

The Asian side finished a mere two points outside of the top four following three tournaments and came third at the finale in Munich. They will hope to take that form into this weekend.

Papua New Guinea had been due to line up in Pool C in Monaco as well, however, their withdrawal was confirmed on Tuesday.

A World Rugby statement read: “While disappointing for all concerned, the decision was made for reasons including player welfare, due to the teams not securing the necessary travel documentation to meet their pre-tournament arrival deadline.

“In accordance with the Terms of Participation agreement and in alignment with other World Rugby Sevens events, all pool matches involving Papua New Guinea will be treated as void with no points awarded.”