Blitzboks’ pool for Olympic Games revealed

The Blitzboks will renew their rivalry with the USA after being handed an intriguing draw in Pool C for the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo.

South Africa, bronze medallists in Rio, and USA are in Pool C having both achieved direct Olympic qualification by finishing in the top four of the World Rugby Sevens Series 2019, where the USA Eagles finished runners-up after reaching the medal podium in seven of the 10 Series rounds.

Joining them are Kenya, who qualified courtesy of their first Rugby Africa men’s sevens title since 2015, and Olympic debutants Ireland, who secured the final spot thanks to a thrilling 28-19 victory over France in the World Rugby Sevens Repechage in Monaco earlier this month.

In the men’s competition, three of the top-four teams from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games are placed together in Pool B as reigning Olympic champions Fiji will face silver medallists Great Britain and hosts Japan, who finished a very creditable fourth in Rio, along with Olympic debutants Canada who claimed bronze at the last HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series event, which took place in Vancouver last year.

In Pool A there’s a renewal of the mouthwatering antipodean rivalry between current Rugby World Cup Sevens and World Series champions New Zealand and Australia, who met in the final of the last Series event in Vancouver, with the All Blacks Sevens winning a tightly contested match 17-14.

Joining them in Pool A are Argentina, who finished sixth in Rio, alongside Olympic debutants Korea who qualified for Tokyo by winning the Asian qualification tournament with an extra-time ‘golden point’ try to overcome Hong Kong.

Photo: Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Images

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Dylan Jack