DUBLIN (AP) — The International Rugby Board is retaining the World Cup Sevens and integrating the event into the Olympic Games cycle.

The future of the tournament was in doubt, with sevens being part of the Olympic program from 2016.

However, following consultation with member unions and major stakeholders, the IRB said the World Cup will be integrated "within the middle of the Olympic cycle (to) provide a key high-performance pathway for teams around the world, ensuring optimum competitiveness at the Olympic Games."

The next World Cup after this year's tournament in Russia will be held in 2018.

IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset says "we believe that a world championship event will increase competitiveness, interest and participation, slotting into the multi-sport Games cycle and enhancing Rugby Sevens in the Olympic Games."

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