20 Sep 2012

Sport: IRB shakes up sevens qualification

10:29 am on 20 September 2012

The International Rugby Board has unveiled a new qualification pathway for the World Sevens Series, with some of the core team positions to be subject to promotion and relegation.

At the season-ending London Sevens next year, the top 12 core teams in the World Series standings will compete for the Cup title, with the 13th, 14th and 15th-ranked teams forced to compete against five other qualifiers to retain their place.

IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset says as sevens builds towards the 2016 Rio Olympics, it is important that the opportunity exists for all nations to progress to Series core team status if they are good enough.

The Samoa head coach, Faamoni Lalomilo, says teams too are already beginning to plan for their Olympic debut.

"We'll start looking at the pathways now. We are looking for the the young ones to bring into the team - we have some of the old players back in the team so we can mix with them. I hope we can have enough time for them to put in the team for this four years before the Olympics."