Uruguay and Brazil qualify for RWC Sevens 2009
January 21, 2008

The first teams to qualify for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2009 have been determined, with Uruguay winning the men's and Brazil winning the women's CONSUR Tournaments held in Punta del Este, Uruguay over the weekend.

The tournament, which was the first of seven regional RWC Sevens qualifiers to take place around the world this year, was well attended, with the Uruguayan Rugby Community providing a festival atmosphere.

The two days of competition also provided some compelling Rugby with eight men's and eight women's teams competing to be the first teams to secure their RWC 2009 places through the qualifier process.

Uruguay secured a 31-19 victory over Chile in the final of the men's tournament.

Chile opened the scoring in the final with a spectacular try and went into the interval leading 12-5, which was extended to 19-5 in the first minute of the second half.

However, the Uruguayans, who were playing their sixth Tournament in three months and aiming to reach a second consecutive RWC Sevens, waited patiently for their opportunities and responded with 26 unanswered points to secure victory and a place at RWC Sevens 2009.

"We worked extremely hard to be in the position to qualify so now that we've achieved that goal, we are very happy," said Uruguay playmaker, Ignacio Conti.

Uruguay now join the eight teams that have already guaranteed places for Rugby Sevens' showpiece event in Dubai: Fiji, New Zealand, England, Australia, France, Scotland, South Africa (who all qualified for the quarter-finals of the 2005 Tournament in Hong Kong) and Host Union the Arabian Gulf.

A further 14 places will be filled via the regional qualifier structures.

Three qualifiers will come from Africa, two from North America, two from Asia, five from Europe and two from Oceania. This structure will guarantee the presence of some teams not regularly seen on the IRB Sevens World Series circuit.

In the women's event, with all 16 women's teams for RWC Sevens 2009 coming through the qualifier process, Brazil made Rugby World Cup Sevens history by being the first team to be guaranteed a place at Rugby Sevens' showpiece Tournament in Dubai.

It is the first time that a team from Brazil has qualified for a RWC Tournament.

The Brazilians defeated Argentina 45-0 in the final, scoring seven tries to underline their dominance of the Sevens game in the region and secure their fourth successive Sevens CONSUR crown.

"We are delighted that we will now be able to go to RWC Sevens 2009 in Dubai and test ourselves against the best in the world," said Brazil's Natasha Olsen. "This is good for the whole of the Game in Brazil."

RWC Sevens 2009 will be the first Tournament to incorporate a women's competition and all 16 women's teams will be confirmed through the regional qualifier process.

In addition to Brazil, two qualifiers will come from Africa, two from North America, three from Asia, six from Europe and two from Oceania.

© Scrum.com

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