(ISN) – The participating teams have been confirmed for the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto as rugby sevens’ road to Rio 2016 gathers momentum.
With rugby participation, profile and interest at an all-time high, eight men’s and six women’s nations will go for gold in Toronto on 11-12 July, with the teams confirmed via a highly-competitive qualification process featuring 19 nations.
The women’s competition will feature Rio 2016 hosts and World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series regulars Brazil, who won the 2014 South America Games. They will be joined by Argentina and Colombia, who qualified via the CONSUR Women’s Sevens.
From the North America region, Canada and USA, both currently in the top seven places in the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series, automatically qualify, while Mexico qualify via the NACRA 2014 Women’s Sevens.
The men’s competition features HSBC Sevens World Series fifth-ranked team Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Brazil from South America with Canada and USA joined by Guyana and Mexico from North America and the Caribbean.
Seedings to determine the draw will be completed after the completion of the HSBC Sevens World Series (men) and World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series in May.
World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “Rugby sevens is going from strength to strength and the Americas has been at the forefront of our growth story, especially in the women’s game. This exciting and high-quality line-up of competing nations reflects a sport that is reaching out to new nations, communities and audiences around the world.
“As excitement builds ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, we are confident that rugby sevens, with its crowd-pleasing, high-octane action and festival atmosphere, will be a hit in stadia and for television audiences enjoying the Pan American Games. It is an event not to be missed.”