The Sri Lanka Rugby men’s and women’s teams are within reach to make it to the all-important World Rugby World Series with qualification spots opening up for the Men and Women to play the World Series qualifiers in the Hong Kong next year.
The third leg of the Asia Rugby Sevens Series that kicks off at the Colombo Racecourse will decide the 5 teams who will make it to the qualifiers. Two positions in the men’s category, as well as 3 positions in the women’s category, are available and will be awarded based on the standings at the conclusion of all 3 legs.
Read about the team announcement: New captain and new team for Colombo leg
The World Rugby Sevens Series and the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series are two world rugby series run by World Rugby annually to decide the best in the shorter format. Each series has 15 teams participating and is held in nine legs around the world.
In order to qualify for the next year’s series, every two years there exists a qualifier that will be played in Hong Kong concurrently with the main tournament.
The Asia Sevens Series acts as a regional qualifier for teams to make it to the main qualifying event.
Currently, Japan is in the lead in both men’s and women competitions winning both legs comprehensively.
Series standings after two legs
|5||Sri Lanka||12||Sri Lanka||10|
The Japanese men’s team will not need to play the qualifiers since they already are a part of the World Rugby Men’s Sevens Series with series points. The top two finishers excluding the Japanese will, therefore, qualify for the main qualifier.
Sri Lanka currently shares the joint 4th place with the Philippines after two legs and a third-place finish at the Colombo Racecourse will assure them of a position in the qualifiers next year.
The Tuskers will play China, Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong in their group stage games and will need to win 2 out of their 3 games to make it to the cup semifinals. Last time in South Korea, they missed a trick and were relegated to Plate. There too Sri Lanka lost to Philippines to finish 6th.
Following their 3rd place finish in 2016, the Sri Lanka team made it to the Hong Kong 7’s to play the World Series qualifiers that year.
Read more: Sri Lanka fight hard but go down to Namibia
Golden opportunity for Sri Lanka Women!
For the first time, the ladies are also in a position to make it to the World Series qualifiers this year. There will be 3 positions on offer for the women’s draw and with the Chinese already in the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series, the top three seeds excluding China will make it to the qualifiers.
The Sri Lanka Rugby women have a minor chance of making it if they manage to get into the cup semifinal in Colombo.
The women have finished 5th in both legs and in order to make a semifinal, it is important that they win 2 out of their 3 games. The team will play Hong Kong, Korea and Japan.
They have been victorious against Korea consecutively in the 1st two legs but have suffered huge defeats to both Hong Kong and Japan.
If Sri Lanka win their game against Hong Kong which will be the opening game on the 13th, they will be through to the qualifiers. In the past two meetings, Sri Lanka were massacred 0-31 and 14-31 and if Sudath Sampath’s women’s side could anchor a turnaround this time, it will be a remarkable achievement.
The official broadcaster for the Asia Sevens Series in Colombo, ThePapare.com will be bringing you LIVE and EXCLUSIVE action on the 13th and 14th of October from the Colombo Racecourse
>> Day 1 – Asia Rugby Seven’s Series – 3rd Leg Day 01
>> Day 2 – Asia Rugby Seven’s Series – 3rd Leg Day 02