- Associated Press - Thursday, February 6, 2014

DUBLIN (AP) - The International Rugby Board says the top four countries at the end of next season’s rugby world sevens series will qualify for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

A further six of the 12 teams in each of the men’s and women’s events will come from regional qualifiers, with one last place available at a final playoff tournament.

Host Brazil has an automatic place in both the men’s and women’s competitions.

Rugby’s 15-a-side version was a medal sport at four Summer Games in the early 1900s, and the United States was the last Olympic champion. Sevens will make its debut in Rio.

South Africa, New Zealand, Fiji and England are currently the top four in this season’s men’s world series. Australia, New Zealand, Russia and Canada lead the women’s standings.


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