France’s men’s rugby sevens team will like their female compatriots be present at the Rio Olympics next year after booking their place on Sunday in Exeter, England.
They ensured they would join the women’s team — who qualified at the end of June by winning the European title — at rugby‘s return to the Games after nearly a century’s absence by sealing their own European crown when they beat Wales to reach the tournament semi-finals.
Reaching the last four guaranteed them finishing top of the championship after winning the Moscow and Lyon legs in June where several outstanding Top 14 players were deployed including France international backrow forward Fulgence Ouedraogo.
Indeed such has been their dominance of late they have not lost a match in the past three tournaments — reward for the huge investment the French rugbyfederation has made, investing 4.7million euros ($5.2m) alone this year.
“I am really happy,” said France skipper Terry Bouhraoua.
“I am very proud of the team. It has at times been difficult over the past five years, people didn’t believe in the French team.
“It is unbelievable.” – Agence France-Presse