Euro Sevens success for France and England(IRB.COM) Monday 9 July 2012
France claimed Cup victory at the Odense Sevens, beating Portugal in the final to clinch the third and final round of the FIRA European Sevens Grand Prix Series.
England did well enough to finish top of the standings after the three rounds, however, following earlier wins in both Lyon and Moscow and were duly crowned European champions.
While France finished the season strongly, overcoming England in the quarter finals en route to Cup success, Ben Ryan's side endured mixed form and fortunes in their final European outing and lost out in the Plate final against Georgia, a sure sign that standards continue to rise across the board in Sevens Rugby.
As well as the Georgians proudly lifting the Plate, Italy celebrated winning the Bowl by beating Netherlands and Belgium took the Shield after a close encounter against Romania.
12 Euro Nations Ready for RWC Sevens qualifiers
FIRA's Grand Prix Series also acted as a precursor to the region's qualifying tournament for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013, in Portugal on 20-21 July 2012.
England qualify automatically for RWC Sevens 2013, along with defending champions Wales and hosts Russia, but there are five other places available for next year's tournament in Moscow.
Twelve teams will compete on the Algarve, the other top nine-ranked sides from the FIRA Series (Portugal, France, Spain, Wales, Scotland, Georgia, Ukraine, Italy, Germany, Netherlands), plus Romania, Belgium and Lithuania, who qualified through a second tier event in Poland in May.
Make-up of RWC Sevens 2013 (men’s – 24 teams):
Europe – three automatic places (Wales, England and host Russia) plus five qualifiers
Oceania – three automatic places (New Zealand, Samoa and Fiji) plus two qualifiers
North America/Caribbean – two qualifiers
Africa – two automatic places (South Africa and Kenya) plus two qualifiers
Asia – three qualifiers
South America – one automatic place (Argentina) plus one qualifier
Final standings - FIRA European Sevens Grand Prix Series 2012
Individual event standings
Round 1 - Lyon, France
Round 2 - Moscow, Russia
Round 3 - Odense, Denmark