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Fourteen men's and women's teams to play in Pan American rugby sevens event

01/21/2015 11:05 EST | Updated 03/23/2015 05:59 EDT
TORONTO - Eight men's and six women's teams will take part in the rugby sevens competition at the Pan American Games this summer.

Canada will be a strong contenders in both during the July 11-12 competition in Toronto. The Canadian men won gold four years ago in Mexico when there wasn't a women's event.

The Canadian women are currently ranked third in the Women's World Series behind New Zealand and Australia, who won't be involved in the Pan Ams.

Canada and the U.S., seventh in the World Series standings, qualified automatically, while Mexico booked its ticket via the NACRA (North America Caribbean Rugby Association) 2014 Women's Sevens.

The women's field also features 2016 Olympic host Brazil, who won the 2014 South America Games and currently stand ninth on the world circuit. Argentina and Colombia qualified via the CONSUR Women's Sevens.

CONSUR is the regional governing body for South American rugby.

The Canadian men, currently a disappointing 12th in the HSBC Sevens World Series standings, are joined by Argentina (fifth), the U.S. (ninth), Brazil (16th), Chile, Guyana, Mexico and Uruguay.

Seedings to determine the draw will be completed after the completion of the HSBC Sevens World Series (men) and World Rugby Women's Sevens Series in May.

"Rugby sevens is going from strength to strength and the Americas has been at the forefront of our growth story, especially in the women's game," World Rugby chairman Bernard Lapasset said in a statement. "This exciting and high-quality lineup of competing nations reflects a sport that is reaching out to new nations, communities and audiences around the world.

"As excitement builds ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, we are confident that rugby sevens, with its crowd-pleasing, high-octane action and festival atmosphere, will be a hit in stadia and for television audiences enjoying the Pan American Games."

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