April 4 - Rugby sevens will be promoted around the world during the build-up to the sport's debut at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, International Rugby Board (IRB) chairman Bernard Lapasset (pictured) has promised.

Sevens was chosen, along with golf, to be part of the Games from 2016 and Lapasset claimed that it is important that it uses the next few year to popularise the shorter form of the sport.

He said: "We have six years to promote the long term strategy in the new countries to see how many players can play sevens.

"It is very important to have time to promote and be sure that they could be competing for the qualification and the Olympic programme

"Asia, Europe, Africa and in all continents need to have very strong sevens tournaments to create good competition.

"We need to see how to promote the best team for the Olympics.

"Teams like Tunisia and Cameroon coming up.

"We also have Zimbabwe progressing well.

"I'm sure that Africa will be a strong continent in sevens.

"I think in the future going forward 60 per cent of the young population in 2020 will be in Africa and Asia.

"We have a strong strategy for development and one part will for Africa surely."

The IRB Sevens World Series is expected to act as the main qualifying tournament for Rio 2016.

Lapasset  said: "We need to continue the IRB Sevens World Series and need to see how many teams would be selected through it.

"Then we have to see how many would be selected from the regional competitions."

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