Teams competing in Monaco for the final places available at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will be boosted by confirmation that fans will be able to attend the event on 19-20 June.
Organisers have confirmed that 5,000 fans will be able to watch all the action from the second and third days of competition inside the iconic Stade Louis II, subject to maintenance of the current COVID environment. Fans will be required to wear face masks and respect social distancing.
The boost comes on the day that World Rugby confirmed the match schedule for the competition, which will feature 12 women’s and 10 men’s teams all vying to achieve the ultimate prize of securing the remaining two women’s and one men’s team places for Olympic rugby sevens in Tokyo, which will take place on 26-31 July, 2021 at Tokyo Stadium.
The women’s competition will feature Argentina, Colombia, France, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Samoa and Tunisia. The men’s tournament will involve Chile, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Jamaica, Mexico, Samoa, Tonga, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
While the action kicks off on Friday, 18 June at 18:00 local time with Zimbabwe versus Mexico being the first of two men's matches that evening, fans are invited to join the festivities in stadium for a packed programme of men's and women's matches on day two and three culminating in the two women's finals and the one men's final on Sunday evening.
The match schedule has been developed with player welfare at heart. No team will have more than three games in each day, resulting in the two games being organised on Friday evening, accommodating the reduction to 10 teams in the men’s competition. Due to late kick-off times, the two Friday games will be played behind closed doors.
World Rugby Chief Executive Alan Gilpin said: “With Tokyo 2020 less than three months away, the rugby family is looking forward to what promises to be a special sevens tournament that personifies the togetherness, camaraderie and optimism that characterises these remarkable Olympic Games.
“The Monaco repechage is also symbolic in its own way – a reflection and celebration of sevens international re-emergence from the unprecedented challenges that society and sports people have faced. I know that these players are excited to be representing their nations with the opportunity of qualification for the pinnacle of sevens – the Olympic Games.
“It will be extra special that they get to showcase their skills in front of fans. I would like to thank their Serene Highnesses and the Monegasque Rugby Union for embracing our event and providing the players with the perfect platform to challenge for Tokyo 2020 qualification.”