Eight women’s teams will compete at the Asia Women’s Sevens in Guangzhou, China on 9-10 November for Asia’s second place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The winners of the two-day tournament, hosted at the Guangzhou University Town Sports Centre, will earn automatic qualification to next year’s summer Games with the teams finishing in second and third place set to play in the World Rugby Olympic Repechage in June 2020.
China, who featured as a core team on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2019, will play in Pool A alongside Hong Kong, Sri Lanka and Korea.
Pool B features Kazakhstan, Thailand, Singapore and Philippines.
As host nation, Japan have already qualified for Tokyo 2020 and were recently welcomed to the HSBC USA Women’s Sevens in Colorado, USA as the invitational side.
Japan will be accompanied by New Zealand, USA, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Great Britain and Kenya in Tokyo with the final spots in women’s competition being defined by the outcome of this week’s Oceania and Asian qualifiers and next year’s Repechage tournament, which will be the last opportunity for a team to qualify.
The men’s Asian qualifier event for Tokyo 2020 will take place in Incheon, Korea on 23-24 November. The winners will join Japan, Fiji, USA, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, Canada and Great Britain who have so far qualified.
The Asia Women’s Sevens follows a hugely successful Rugby World Cup 2019 which was held in Japan for the first time and reached record-breaking attendance and fan engagement figures. An average of 99.3 per cent attendance across each of the games and a record 1.13 million people visiting the official fan zones throughout the tournament made it the biggest Rugby World Cup on record.
Rugby will return to Japan next summer for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games where rugby sevens will be played as an Olympic sport for the second time since its successful introduction at Rio 2016. The tournament is expected to unearth an estimated 30 million new fans worldwide (Nielsen) when it is played at the Tokyo Stadium from 31 July to 1 August 2020.