You are here

The fifth and final round of the 2015/2016 HSBC World Rugby Women's 7 tournament will be played in Clermont-Ferrand, France, starting this Saturday. This event represents the last opportunity to secure maximum points for Olympic placement in Rio when twelve nations will compete for medals in August.

Currently, Australia lead all teams with 76 points, and merely a Plate appearance - or a sixth place finish - will be high enough for the Wallaroos to claim the title for the first time. Coach Tim Walsh is confident his side can do better than sixth; they have won three of the past four tournaments.

Trailing Australia are perennial champions New Zealand with 64 points but without a tour victory this season. The Black Ferns have dominated women's rugby for years in the fifteen and sevens versions.

In third place is England, which broke the Aussie skein by winning in Canada, ending a three-year tournament win drought. The Red Roses exude a newly found confidence after the North American win.

The USA ranks seventh with 36 points, attempting to climb the standings' ladder after a poor first tournament in Dubai. Realistically, they could surpass Russia with 38 points.

Of note is the circuit debut of the Kenyan women who replaced South Africa after the latter decided not to enter a team in the Olympics.

The contest will also solidify the nine core teams to play in the 2016/2017 season.

The women's sevens' sides feature more crossover (from fifteen) players than the men.

Finally, a recent HSBC research analysis predicts that women playing rugby will represent forty-percent of the total of all players by 2026.

The USA open against England, then Spain, and, finally, Kenya on Saturday. Live streaming on www.worldrugby.org.