LONDON – Australia booked their place at the Paris 2024 Olympic Sevens rugby tournament on Sunday as Argentina won the concluding London leg of this season’s World Sevens Series at Twickenham.
Victory in the seventh-pace play-off against Great Britain, meant Australia wrapped up fifth place in the overall standings to qualify for next year’s Games.
It looked as if Australia had missed out when they were beaten by Fiji in the quarter-finals earlier on Sunday.
Samoa, their closest challengers, were already into the semi-finals and then led Argentina.
Had they won that match then a place at the Games would have been theirs and, but for a forward pass that led to a disallowed try, Samoa would have booked their place in both the Twickenham final and the Olympics.
Argentina, however won the match and that opened the door for Australia.
After all the tension, Nathan Lawson ran in a hat-trick of tries as Australia hammered Great Britain 34-5 to secure Olympic qualification via the World Series for the first time.
“Today has been one of the biggest rollercoasters ever,” said Australia captain Nick Malouf.
“We just got lucky by some miracle, had the chance to play for it there and there’s been so much hard work gone into this time.
“We’ve never qualified automatically so it’s a really big deal and (I’m) just so over the moon.”
Argentina defeated Fiji 35-14 in the final, the Los Pumas Sevens winning their gold medal of the 2022/23 campaign to round off their most successful season in style. AFP