France claim Marcoussis Sevens titles for Olympic qualifier boost

France have put themselves in pole position for the European regional qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after winning the Marcoussis Sevens on home soil.

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Photo: Stephane Hamel Objectif-rugby
France have claimed victory in the first of two rounds on the Rugby Europe Women’s Sevens Grand Prix Series 2019 in Marcoussis after beating Russia 15-7 in the final on Sunday.

Les Bleues were the highest ranked European team in the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series 2019 in fifth, and their victory on home soil in Marcoussis means they will be top seeds for the regional Olympic qualifier in Kazan on 13-14 July.

Tries from Anne-Cécile Ciofani, Carla Neisen and captain Fanny Horta put France in control of the final before a late try from Daria Noritsina for Russia.

Spain will be seeded third for the qualifier, having avenge a loss to Ireland in the pool stages on Saturday with a 19-0 victory in the third place play-off.

France, Russia and Ireland had topped the pools on day one and were ultimately joined in the semi-finals by Spain who were 34-5 winners over Belgium in the last eight. France and Russia were emphatic winners in their quarter-finals, beating Poland 35-0 and Scotland 45-0 respectively, while Ireland were pushed all the way before beating England 24-19.

Russia proved too strong for Spain in the semi-finals to triumph 26-0, while France edged a tight battle with Ireland to emerge the 14-12 winners.

The winner in Kazan will qualify for Tokyo 2020, joining hosts Japan, series champions New Zealand, USA, Canada, Australia and South American qualifiers Brazil as the qualified teams. The second and third teams will progress to global repechage next year, from which two teams will qualify for Tokyo 2020.