France bolster Sevens squad

2015-05-20 19:04
Fulgence Ouedraogo (AFP)

Paris - Four Top 14 regulars including 30-time capped France flank Fulgence Ouedraogo have been called up as the French sevens team push for qualification for next year's Olympic Games.

Montpellier's Ouedraogo, who on Tuesday was included in Philippe Saint-Andre's enlargened training squad for this year's 15-a-side Rugby World Cup, was named alongside Bordeaux-Begles winger Marvin O'Connor, and Castres duo Remy Grosso and Romain Martial.

The quartet will join an extended squad ahead of three European qualifying tournaments (Moscow - June 6-7, Lyon - June 13-14, Exeter - July 11-12) for the Rio Games, when rugby sevens makes its debut.

France will claim a place in Rio, which it missed out on during the World Series Sevens after a lowly 11th spot, if it finishes first in the standings after the three, 12-team tournaments.

The integration of Top 14 players into the sevens set-up has long been requested, but the all-powerful clubs have refused any releases until the end of the regular season, which comes this weekend.

"We're very happy to have finally found a viable solution, accepted by the clubs and the players, and which doesn't put in danger the clubs' results," France sevens coach Frederic Pomarel said.

The four players will head to the French national rugby centre south of Paris on Monday for a week's training camp with a view to the first two legs of the European circuit.

A decision will then be taken as to their possible inclusion for the third and final leg in Exeter, which falls after the July 6 start of the training camp for the September 18-October 31 Rugby World Cup.

Read more on:    rugby

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