Twenty-four teams will head to Bucharest this weekend hoping to book one of the remaining eight tickets to Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 in Cape Town.
By Sunday evening local time we will know the identity of the final four men’s and four women’s teams who will take their place at the showpiece tournament between 9-11 September.
The action will get under way at 10am local time (GMT+3) on Saturday when Poland, who won the recent Rugby Europe Women’s Sevens Championship 2022, take on Portugal at Stadionul National Arcul de Triumf.
Poland and Portugal will be joined in Pool C by Spain and Sweden. HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series core team Ireland have been drawn in Pool A by Czechia, Germany and Wales.
Another core Series team, England, meanwhile, will play Belgium, Italy and Romania in Pool B.
The men’s tournament will kick-off at 12.30pm local time when Germany and Georgia take to the pitch in Bucharest. Those teams are joined by hosts Romania and core Series team Wales in Pool C.
Like their female counterparts, Ireland have been drawn in Pool A, in which they will play Italy, Portugal and Poland. Pool B consists of Spain, Belgium, Lithuania and Czechia.
At the end of the pool stage, the teams in both the men’s and women’s tournaments will be ranked from one to 12, with the top eight progressing to a single round of knockout matches.
The winners of those knockout matches will qualify directly to RWC Sevens 2022 in Cape Town.
Spain’s men warmed up for the qualifier by winning the Rugby Europe Sevens Championship 2022, reaching the final in Lisbon and winning the second tournament in Krakow.
Poland’s success in the Women’s Championship was secured in the opposite fashion, claiming the title in Lisbon before losing the final on home soil, against Ireland.
Claiming their maiden Championship title has given the Polish squad confidence they can follow it up with qualification for Rugby World Cup Sevens for the very first time.
“It’s a dream for our team [that] we will play the best,” Poland winger Malgorzata Koldej told World Rugby.
“We want to play with New Zealand, we want to play with Australia. We want this! We train very hard for this and no matter what players we take there, it doesn't matter, we want to play there.”