Historic agreement sees Rugby 7s included in the European Games Krakow Malopolska 2023 for the first time ever. The event will serve as the Paris 2024 Olympic Qualifier for Europe.
Rugby Europe and the European Olympic Committees (EOC) have today announced the signature of an agreement for the organisation of the European Qualification tournament for the Olympic Games Paris 2024 as part of the European Games Krakow Malopolska 2023.
For the first time ever, Rugby Sevens will be included in the European Games, the continent’s premier multi-sport event developed and organised by the EOC.
The third edition of the European Games will take place in Krakow and the regions of Malopolska and Śląsk from June 21st to July 2nd 2023.
The stand-alone tournament will take place at the Henryk Reyman Stadium in Krakow, the host of this weekend’s Rugby Europe Men’s Championship Series Krakow 2022.
The tournament will deliver a single European ticket (one per gender) to the Olympic Games Paris 2024, with 24 teams (12 Men and 12 Women’s sides) battling it out for the chance to qualify.
The participants will be selected after the 2022 Rugby Europe Sevens Trophy and Championship Series and 2022/2023 World Rugby World Series in accordance with the Olympic Qualification System designed and approved by World Rugby and the IOC for the Olympic Games Paris 2024.
The final programme will be announced in due course.
Spyros Capralos, EOC President and IOC member, said: “We are delighted to welcome another Olympic sport onto the European Games programme and we look forward to seeing the continent’s best Sevens players trying to secure a place at the Olympic Games Paris 2024. Since its Olympic debut at Rio 2016, Sevens has gone from strength to strength and it is a sport that is really capturing the imagination of Europe’s youth, making it a perfect fit for the European Games. We’re very happy to be working in partnership with President Morariu and Rugby Europe and together we will deliver an unforgettable showcase of elite sport.”
Hasan Arat, Chair of the EOC European Games 2023 Coordination Commission and EOC Executive Committee member, added: “Rugby Sevens is growing rapidly by all metrics. Participation across Europe is increasing every day and the fast-paced and entertaining nature of the sport make it a fan favourite. The atmosphere at the Henryk Reyman Stadium will be electric this time next year and we cannot wait to see the action unfold. This marks another major milestone in the European Games as we continue to build momentum and set a sustainable blueprint for the future of the continent’s premier multi-sport event.”
Marcin Nowak, president of the Organizing Committee of the European Games, was excited about the presence of rugby in Krakow. “It is a great opportunity for us to take a closer look at this spectacular discipline. In less than a year, the 7 rugby tournament will be held at the same stadium as part of the European Games. Sevens rugby is an extremely dynamic discipline that quickly grabs fans by the heart” - said Nowak.
Octavian Morariu, president of Rugby Europe and IOC member, said: “This partnership is a great achievement for Rugby Europe. Thanks to the EOC and the support of World Rugby, the Polish Rugby Union and the local authorities, Sevens rugby will have the opportunity to take centre stage once again. I would like to thank all the stakeholders who fully supported that the Qualifiers for the Olympics is included in a multisport event for the first time. This event will be a wonderful tournament for players and rugby fans.”