Tokyo Olympic Games Men and Women teams pools. Courtesy: World Rugby
With 19 days to go until the kick-off and more excitement building up towards Rugby’s second appearance at the Olympic Games, the match schedule for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic rugby sevens competition has been confirmed by organising committee and World Rugby.
Players, teams, and fans around the world can now finalise their preparations and look forward to six days of intense, action-packed competition at Tokyo Stadium, with matches played during two competition sessions per day.
The tournament will get off to a flying start with the highly anticipated encounter between Rio 2016 Olympic champions Fiji and hosts Japan in the opening match of the men’s competition on 26 July.
Another highlight in the men’s schedule have antipodean rivals New Zealand and Australia take to the pitch in the final match in Pool A on 27 July.
The men’s competition will culminate with the gold medal match at 18:00 local time on 28 July.
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The women’s competition gets underway on 29 July when France face Fiji. The 10,000 fans permitted inside Tokyo Stadium will be looking forward to the fourth match of the day when Japan start their campaign against reigning Olympic champions Australia.
The women’s gold medal match will take place at 18:00 local time on 31 July, as part of ‘Super Saturday’ – traditionally a highlight of the Games.
In June, the 12 men’s and 12 women’s teams were allocated to three pools of four, according to rankings based upon performances in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and other World Rugby sanctioned tournaments over the past two years.
As the countdown to Tokyo gathers pace, most teams have already announced their squads with a number of players that have starred in Rugby World Cups in the 15s game selected to try and attain Olympic glory for their countries in Tokyo.
Following a successful test event involving members of the Japan national teams in April, preparations are on track for a world-class tournament at Tokyo Stadium, which proved to be an excellent host venue during Rugby World Cup 2019.
To ensure teams are as best prepared as possible to perform on the greatest sporting stage of all, World Rugby has invested US$4 million into Olympic qualified unions’ sevens programmes and towards the costs of hosting a number of high-performance preparation events over the past three months.