Aussie opponents confirmed for Rio Olympics

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Australia's Sevens teams will face some tough competition in Rio, with their pool opponents officially confirmed on Wednesday.

For the top seeded women's team, USA, Fiji and Colombia are the teams that will stand between them and progressing through the competition, which runs from August 6-8.

New Zealand, France, Spain and Kenya will fight it out in Pool B, while Canada, Great Britain, Brazil and Japan round out the contenders, facing off in Pool C.

The men's side will face South Africa yet again this season after clashing with heir fierce rivals in a number of pivotal matches during the World Series.

Seeded fifth overall, the Aussie men also take on France and Spain as they vie to make it through to the knock out phases of the Rio tournament.

The Sevens competitions will run over the first six days of the Olympics, with the women's tournament kicking things off.

Incoming World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont, who begins his new role on July 1, said the Olympics would expose rugby to a whole new audience.

“Our top men’s and women’s players are excited about becoming Olympians and representing their nation and our sport at the Olympic Games," he said.

“I anticipate that it will be one of the highlights of Rio 2016 as we showcase this great sport to a new audience of hundreds of millions around the world and inspire the next generation to get into rugby.

"It’s an exciting time to be involved in rugby and I know that all our member unions are ready to make the most of this opportunity as we continue to grow the game across the globe.

“As we rapidly approach one month to go, we are anticipating very special and successful rugby sevens events that showcase the very best of our dynamic sport and its character-building values.” 

Seedings are based on total points over the last two World Series, though the top four men's finishers from 2014-15 were guaranteed a top four seeding in the Olympics.

Women’s - 6-8 August (seeding in brackets)

Pool A: Australia (one), USA (six), Fiji (seven), Colombia (12)
Pool B: New Zealand (two), France (five), Spain (eight), Kenya (11)
Pool C: Canada (three), Great Britain (four), Brazil (nine), Japan (10)

Men’s - 9-11 August (seeding in brackets)

Pool A: Fiji (one), USA (six), Argentina (seven), Brazil (12)
Pool B: South Africa (two), Australia (five), France (eight), Spain (11)
Pool C: New Zealand (three), Great Britain (four), Kenya (nine), Japan (10)