The ball for the Olympic rugby sevens tournaments at Rio 2016 has been unveiled ©World Rugby

World Rugby have unveiled the official ball which will be used during the men’s and women’s sevens tournaments at next month’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The ball, which features the Olympic Rings and the World Rugby logo, has been specifically designed for the shorter format of the game.

It will makes its maiden appearance in the opening match of the women’s competition, when players from France and Spain will become the first rugby Olympians since 1924 on August 6 at the Deodoro Stadium.

Sevens is making its debut on the Olympic stage, with 15-a-side rugby union last appearing on the at the Games in Paris 92 years ago.

The Synergie XV-6 match ball contains many of the elements which appear on the Match XV ball, used at the elite-level of the 15s format, and includes a modified surface grip pattern.

According to developers, the distance travelled when it is kicked will be reduced and the handling properties increased in order to provide a compelling spectacle at Rio 2016.

The unveiling of the ball comes after the draw and schedule for both tournaments was confirmed last month.

The match ball has been designed in order to ensure fast-paced action at Rio 2016 ©World Rugby
The match ball has been designed in order to ensure fast-paced action at Rio 2016 ©World Rugby

All 12 countries involved in the women's tournament will play two matches on the opening day of competition, a day after the Opening Ceremony at the Maracanã Stadium on August 5.

New Zealand and Kenya will join France and Spain in Group B, with Australia, United States, Fiji and Colombia contesting Pool A.

Hosts Brazil will begin their campaign with an interesting looking clash against Great Britain in Group C, with Canada and Japan completing Pool C.

France’s men are involved in the first game which will be against fellow rugby heavyweights Australia in Pool B.

This will take place on August 9, a day after the women's finals, with each side again playing two matches on the opening day.

Spain and South Africa will also compete in Pool B, with Brazil beginning against World Rugby Sevens Series champions Fiji in their first match in Pool A.

They will be joined by United States and Argentina, with New Zealand, Britain, Kenya and Japan featuring in Pool C.