07/11/2019 – World Rugby Communications – Teams set for Africa Men’s Sevens with Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification in sight

• Africa Men's Sevens takes place in Johannesburg on 8-9 November
• 14 African teams will convene over two days of competition at the Bosman Stadium
• Tournament marks next stop on the road to Tokyo 2020 with one Olympic qualification spot up for grabs
• 16 men's and women's teams have already qualified for Tokyo 2020

The South Africa Rugby Union will host the Africa Men’s Sevens tournament in Johannesburg, South Africa on 8-9 November where one team will qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

14 African teams will convene at the Bosman Stadium for two days of competition where the winning team will directly qualify for Tokyo 2020. The silver and bronze medallists will go through to the World Rugby Global Repechage competition in June 2020 which will be the last opportunity for qualification.

Rugby sevens will make its second appearance on the Olympic Games programme at Tokyo 2020 after its successful introduction at Rio 2016 which unearthed almost 17 million new fans in six key territories across the globe (Nielsen).

As well as providing a route to Tokyo 2020, the teams finishing in first and second place at the Africa Men’s Sevens will be in the mix for the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series qualifier tournament with more details to be announced in due course.

The participating teams, in order of current ranking, are Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda, Madagascar, Zambia, Tunisia, Senegal, Morocco, Namibia, Ghana, Botswana, Mauritius, Ivory Coast and Nigeria.

Defending champions Zimbabwe will set out to retain the title while the Ivory Coast and Nigeria will make their debut appearances at the Africa Men’s Sevens.

Africa have already secured representation at Tokyo through South Africa who automatically qualified by finishing in the top four of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2019 and will secure a second spot at the Games this weekend.
South Africa are one of eight men’s teams already qualified for Tokyo 2020 and will join Fiji, USA, New Zealand, Argentina, Canada, Great Britain and Japan who qualified as host nation.

In the women’s competition, Kenya qualified for Tokyo through the Africa Women’s Sevens which took place in October 2019.

World Rugby Chairman, Sir Bill Beaumont, commented: "As one of three regional qualification events taking place this week, we are extremely excited to see which team will earn their place at Tokyo 2020 following the Africa Men’s Sevens at the weekend.

"It is great to see Africa truly embracing rugby sevens with so many talented teams set to play in this tournament. With so much at stake, there is all to play for and fans can expect to see some fantastic rugby on display at the Bosman Stadium."

Jurie Roux, CEO of South Africa Rugby, added: "We are honoured to organize the Rugby Africa Men’s Sevens qualifier event for the Tokyo Olympic Games. South Africa is already qualified through the World Series ranking, and we are pleased that Africa will have at least two representatives in the Olympic tournament. Since rugby is very popular in South Africa, we will provide a great stage for a vibrant tournament."

Last month, World Rugby announced that Rugby World Cup Sevens 2021 will be hosted in Cape Town, South Africa. In September 2022 the eighth edition of the showcase event will take place at the Cape Town Stadium in what will be the first time that Rugby World Cup Sevens has been hosted on the African continent.

The world’s best 24 men’s and 16 women’s rugby sevens teams will come together to compete for world champion status over three days of exhilarating action.