Europe's women line up for Sevens battle
June 13, 2008

The best 16 international women's Sevens teams in Europe converge on Limoges, France this weekend for the region's Rugby World Cup Sevens qualifying final, with only the top six sides graduating to next year's event in Dubai.

For the first time next year a 16-team women's event will be held alongside the 24-team men's event at the Rugby World Cup Sevens, a historic landmark in the continuing global development of the women's game.

"The Limoges tournament represents another big step forward for Women's Rugby," said IRB Tournaments Operations Manager Beth Coalter.

"It will bring together the best women's Sevens teams in Europe for a tournament that marks the pinnacle of a European qualifying process that has involved over 30 teams."

Germany, Andorra, Moldova and the Czech Republic were the final four teams to book their places in the final - the Czechs courtesy of Scotland's late withdrawal.

The competition will be played over two days with the pool matches completed on day one, followed by knock-out fixtures on day two.

Pool A features Russia, Portugal, France and the Czech Republic. Pool B features Sweden, Andorra, Germany and England, who have benefited immensely from the input of new coaches Simon Amor and Mike Friday.

Spain, Romania, Israel and the Netherlands will contest Pool C, while Pool D throws together Finland, Wales, Moldova and Italy.

Besides the action in Europe, Brazil have already qualified for the women's event through a South American tournament and the remaining qualifiers will come from Oceania (two), Africa (two), North America (two) and Asia (three).

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