TORONTO — The Canadian men have been placed in a pool with the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago for the opening round of competition in an Olympic rugby sevens regional qualifying competition next weekend in Cary, N.C.
The other men’s group at the North America Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) Sevens Championships features the U.S., Barbados, Jamaica, Mexico and St. Vincent.
But barring an upset of mammoth proportions, the U.S. and Canada are expected to meet in next Sunday’s final.
The winner will join host Brazil and Fiji, South Africa, New Zealand and England — the top four teams from the recently completed HSBC Sevens World Series season — at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The other six Olympic teams will come from five other regional tournaments and a last-ditch world repechage competition.
The U.S. men finished sixth on the Sevens World Series while the Canadians were ninth. The Americans won four out of five meetings between the two this season.
On the women’s side, Canada has already qualified for Rio by virtue of its second-place finish in the Women’s Sevens Series.
The U.S., which was fifth in the standings, is expected to roll through the NACRA women’s field which also includes the Bahamas, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Guyana, Jamaica, Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago.
The Canadian Press