Both Canadian rugby sevens teams kept us on the edge of our seats while they captured Pan Am Gold at Toronto 2015.
The men’s squad will have their final chance to qualify in June at the Repechage Rio Qualification Tournament held at Stade Louis II in Monaco.
Monaco will happen just a few weeks following the completion of the World Rugby Sevens Series, which is an annual world tour that sees the world’s most elite players compete across what has grown this year to 10 event series across the globe, including Vancouver from March 12-13.
Here is a look at what the men will be up to over the next few months leading to the Olympic qualification tournament.
USA 7s: March 4-6 – Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, USA
Canada currently sits 12th in the series standings heading into the USA leg of the tour. The squad fell to Australia in the Plate semi-finals in 2015.
Canada 7s: March 12-13 – BC Place, Vancouver, Canada
2016 will mark the first ever men’s World Rugby Sevens Series stop held in Canada. The tournament will be played at Vancouver’s BC Place, so you can rest assured the that boys will take full advantage of being on home soil and draw energy from fan-packed stands.
Hong Kong 7s: April 8-10 – Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong, China
The 2014-2015 season saw Canada defeated by France in the Bowl semifinal 38-19, so Canada will no doubt be looking to improve upon their record in Hong Kong.
Singapore 7s: April 15-17 – Singapore National Stadium, Singapore
The 2015-2016 season will see Singapore return to the tour lineup, since the last stop there in 2006, where Canada was outscored by Japan in the Bowl semi finals.
France 7s: May 13-15 – Stade Jean-Bouin, Paris, France
Paris is another iconic location returning to the tour in 2016. Canada’s last performance in Paris in 2006 saw them lose the Bowl semifinal to Italy 17-7.
England 7s: May 21-22 – Twickenham Stadium, London, England
Closing out the sevens series last year in London, the Canadians finished with a 33-15 loss to powerhouse New Zealand.
Repechage Qualification Tournament: June 18-19 – Monaco
10 teams (Fiji, South Africa, New Zealand, Great Britain, Argentina, USA, France, Japan, Australia, Kenya) have already claimed their spot in Rio, with the 11th spot awarded to the host nation Brazil, which leaves one spot at Rio 2016 for the winner of the repechage. The tournament will see a total of 16 men’s teams vie for that last remaining ticket to Rio, however Canada’s key opponents are anticipated to be Hong Kong, Ireland, Portugal, Russia, Samoa, and Zimbabwe.
The Main Event: August 6-10 – Rio Olympics
If Canada wins the repechage and advances, they will hopefully carry their momentum onward to Deodoro Stadium at Rio 2016.