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Fiji Time: 3:09 AM on Thursday 31 July

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Ryan targets to finish in top four

Rodney Duthie In Wellington
Sunday, February 09, 2014

VODAFONE FIJI coach Ben Ryan will make it his "goal" to finish in the top four of the sevens world series to gain automatic qualification for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The International Rugby Board revealed on Friday that the top four countries at the end of next season's series will qualify.

Ryan said the national side needed to be a "rock solid" contender for the automatic entry.

"I've been privileged to be part of some of the working groups around the Olympic qualification so I knew that was on its way," Ryan said.

"It means we need to be a rock solid top four competitor. We don't want be in a situation next year where we have to be going to the Oceania to qualify. "You look at Fiji, Samoa, Australia and New Zealand and I doubt we're going to occupy all that top four spots in the world. We got to make sure that we finish in the top four — that's a huge goal for us."

A further six of the 12 teams in each of the men's and women's events will come from regional qualifiers, with one last place available at a final playoff tournament.

Host Brazil has an automatic place in both the men's and women's competitions.

Rugby's 15-a-side version was a medal sport at four Summer Games in the early 1900s, and the US was the last Olympic champion.

Sevens will make its debut in Rio.

South Africa, New Zealand, Fiji and England are currently the top four in this season's men's world series. Australia, New Zealand, Russia and Canada lead the women's standings.


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