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Three days of exciting action to come at the 2023 European Games

When there are medals up for grabs sevens is always an exciting spectacle - and when Olympic qualification is on the line things get even more exciting.

Between Sunday and Tuesday, 12 women’s and 12 men’s teams will battle it out in the Henryk Reyman’s Municipal Stadium in Kraków, Poland, in the Kraków-Małopolska 2023 European Games.

This is the third European Games and the largest multi-disciplinary sports event ever in the history of Poland and, as the organisers put it, “the most important sporting celebration in the world this year”.

The winners in each tournament will not only be crowned European Games champions, they will also secure a place at the Paris 2024 Olympics.

And the teams that finish second and third in each competition will earn a place at the World Rugby Sevens Repechage, meaning they will still have a chance of going to the Olympics in France.

Great Britain, Spain and hosts Poland could be ones to watch in the women’s event in the coming days while Ireland, Great Britain and Spain could be the ones to beat in the men’s event, but anything can happen in sevens - and often does.

France, New Zealand, Australia, United States, Ireland and Brazil have already qualified for Paris 2024 in terms of the women.

In terms of the men, France, New Zealand, Argentina, Fiji, Australia and Uruguay are already assured their places next year there, too.

Pool A in the women’s event in Kraków is made up of Great Britain, Czechia, Italy and Norway.

Great Britain finished as runners-up to France in the Rugby Europe Championship event in Portugal recently while Czechia were eighth and Italy ninth.

Norway were 11th in the recent Rugby Europe Trophy event in Zagreb.

Poland, Germany, Portugal and Türkiye are in Pool B, the Polish coming into this in the best form after a fourth place finish in the Algarve in the aforementioned Championship event.

Germany were seventh there with Portugal 10th. Türkiye were runners up in Zagreb.

Pool C includes Spain, Belgium, Sweden and Romania.

Spain were fifth in Portugal while Belgium were sixth so they may battle it out for top spot before the knock-out phase here. Sweden and Romania were 11th and 12th in the Algarve respectively.

In the men’s event, Pool A is made up of Ireland, Germany, Italy and Poland.

Like the women, the men also had a recent Championship event in Portugal and Ireland won that one, so will be coming in here feeling good.

Germany were seventh there and Italy eighth, so this should be a competitive Pool.

Poland were seventh in the Rugby Europe Trophy event in Zagreb, but home advantage here could see them raise their game.

Pool B has Georgia, Spain, Belgium and Czechia in it.

Over recent years, we have known that Georgia are an ever-improving force in the XVs game, but their sevens is coming on apace, too.

They were runners up in the Algarve while Spain were sixth there, Belgium ninth and Czechia 12th.

Pool C has Great Britain, Portugal, Lithuania and Romania in it.

Great Britain were fourth in Portugal recently, but have the firepower to really cause teams problems if they get it right while Portugal were fifth in that Championship event and can certainly go toe-to-toe with the best sides here.

Lithuania were 10th in the Algarve with Romania 11th.

With Pool winners, all second placed teams and two third place teams making it to the Cup quarter-finals in both the women’s and men’s event, every match will matter here, so we can expect plenty of thrills and spills over the three days.

You will be able to watch all the action on the Rugby Europe website and through the European Games App and website. 


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