Ireland men's sevens team qualified for next year’s Olympic World Repechage tournament by claiming the third and final qualifying spot at this weekend’s Rugby Europe Repechage tournament in Lisbon, while their female counterparts went one better by taking second place at the same event.
The men’s team sealed their place at the World Repechage tournament with a 15-7 third place play-off victory against Georgia, with tries from Ian Fitzpatrick, Harry McNulty and Terry Kennedy.
Earlier in the day, Ireland booked their place in the quarter-finals, where they faced Lithuania, with victories against Georgia and Italy and a draw against eventual champions Russia.
After battling their way past Lithuania 17-0, an experienced Russia side proved too strong as Ireland fell to a 24-10 defeat in a well-contested semi-final.
Russia went on to defeat Germany 38-12 in a one-sided final.
Russia, Germany and Ireland go forward to join Rugby Europe Grand Prix Series runners-up Spain as the four-strong European contingent at the World Repechage tournament. The rest of the field for the 16-team event will consist of three teams from Africa and Asia and two apiece from Oceania, North America and the Caribbean (NACRA) and South America (CONSUR).
Canada, Mexico, Uruguay and Chile have already confirmed their place from the NACRA and CONSUR qualifying tournaments.
In the women’s tournament, top seeds Spain defeated Ireland 26-19 in a competitive and entertaining final.
The two teams still gave it their all despite having already booked places in next year’s repechage after their semi-final wins over the Netherlands and Portugal.
Buoyed by an enthusiastic home crowd at the Stadium do Jamor, Portugal defied their underdog status to win the third place play-off 12-5.
Spain, Ireland and Portugal go through to the World Repechage tournament to join Rugby Europe Grand Prix Series runners-up Russia, while Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Argentina and Venezuela have already confirmed their place at the highly-anticipated event via the NACRA and CONSUR qualifying process.
Men’s final standings
Women’s final standings