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The HSBC World Rugby tournament returns to Paris this weekend after a ten-year absence. The Paris or French Sevens started in 1996 and, during the ensuing years, the host country won the event once and finished second twice. Les Bleus have not enjoyed similar Sevens’ circuit success, failing to raise their levels to the high competitive status of the national fifteen side.

The three-day tournament will be played in the 25,000 Stade Jean Bouin located in the Bois de Boulogne area in the far south west of the city (Metro: Exelmans).  

The teams that already qualified for the Rio Olympics will battle in Paris and London the week after (May 28, May 29) for maximum points to secure higher seeding in the summer games. This also includes Samoa and Canada, two teams on the tour that have not yet qualified for the Olympics. They will play in a repechage event with other countries in June, the winner to be twelfth and last Olympic participant.

Rugby Today Paris Coverage

To support France, the French Rugby Federation (FFR), and the new Parisian tournament, I shall be covering the event, starting Thursday, May 12 when the FFR hosts an evening outing for local and visiting media. Look for my up close and personal reports, under the headline “Paris Diary,”