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France men and women heading into home Olympics on a high as European champions

France’s men and women’s sevens squad will head into the Paris Olympics on a high later this month after they clinched the over Rugby Europe Championship Series titles for 2024 in Hamburg over the weekend.

The men backed up their gold medal from leg one in Makarska, Croatia, with a silver medal in Germany in leg two.

They won three out of three to top Pool A while fellow Olympic side Ireland won all three of their Pool B games and Germany delighted the home crowd by topping Pool C with three wins.

Ireland put a marker down with a 36-7 win over Belgium in the last eight with Portugal defeating Georgia 21-14 in a tighter affair, France getting the better of Spain 31-12 and Germany seeing off Italy 35-12.

Ireland were pushed much harder in their semi-final before getting past Portugal 14-12 with France having to work hard to get the better of Germany 15-0.

Portugal took the bronze medal by just getting past Germany 14-12 while Georgia were fifth, Italy sixth, Spain seventh, Belgium eighth, Lithuania ninth, Great Britain 10th, Ukraine 11th and Croatia 12th. This means that the Ukraine and Croatia will both return to the Trophy next season.

In the final, Ireland got revenge for losing a close final in Croatia by winning this one 19-14 against France.

Simon Desert’s converted try put France 7-0 up in the first half before, with the rain thumping down, Matt McDonald scored one for Ireland to make it 7-7 at the interval.

Hugo Keenan’s excellent finish made it 12-7 to Ireland before a similarly good one by Victor Hannoun, which was converted, gave France a two point advantage.

With Ireland then chasing a winner, France had a man yellow carded as he stopped a probable try. It meant that a seven point penalty try was awarded and they then held on to win 19-14.

Overall, it meant that France and Ireland finished on 38 points from two events, but the former took the trophy thanks to a superior points difference over the two legs. 

Ireland had to settle for second overall with Germany taking an excellent third with 30 points.

Germany, Portugal and Georgia have now qualified for the World Rugby Challenger series in 2025.

In the women’s event, France backed up a silver medal in leg one in Croatia with a gold here to finish top overall.

In Hamburg, Olympic bound Great Britain won three from three to top Pool A, France did the same to top Pool B and Spain finished out in front in Pool C with three wins of their own.

Great Britain saw off Ireland, who are also going to the Olympics, 21-14 in the quarter-finals with Belgium coming out on top 17-7 over Germany, France turning on the style to see off Poland 38-5 and Spain dispatching Czechia 33-7.

In the semi-finals, Great Britain and France cranked things up a further notch to defeat Belgium 29-0 and Spain 33-0 respectively.

Belgium recovered to win bronze by beating Spain 10-7 while Ireland were fifth, Czechia were sixth, Poland were seventh, Germany were eighth, Portugal were ninth, Italy were 10th, Türkiye were 11th and Ukraine 12th. Both Türkiye and Ukraine are relegated.

France were beaten in the first leg final 12-10 by Poland, but they made sure they would stroke gold here with a 19-5 final victory over Great Britain.

The first half was a tight affair until, with the clock well in the red after great handling and ball retention from France, the deadlock was broken with an unconverted try by Carla Neisen.

A quick tap by Montserrat Amedee into the second half saw her go in under the posts for a converted try and it was 12-0 to France.

Grace Crompton did get five points back for Great Brian, but a converted try from Lou Noel gave France the win.

Overall, it meant that France finished on 38 points from two events to take home the European crown

After two bronzes, Belgium finished second overall on 32 points and Spain finished third on 28 points.

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