Despite Canada’s long history with the sport, the men’s national rugby sevens team will be making its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020.
The Canadians missed out on the event’s maiden Olympic tournament five years ago in Rio after a shock loss to Russia in the qualifiers, but they went a perfect 6-0-0 in qualification this time around to book their place in Japan.
“It’s an honour to compete for Canada at Tokyo 2020,” co-captain Nathan Hirayama said. “We travel the world representing Canada but this will be my first Olympic Games and we’re excited to get to Tokyo. It’s been an unprecedented year but we’ve been training hard and look forward to competing.”
Despite being Olympic rookies, the Canadians are not without international experience and pedigree. They won back-to-back gold at the 2011 and 2015 Pan American Games before capturing silver in the 2019 edition, and are coming off an eighth-place finish in the most recent World Rugby Sevens Series.
A tough group-stage draw sees Canada face sevens powers Great Britain and Fiji before closing the round-robin portion against the host nation, with up to three teams moving on from the group.