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France, Australia win first Youth Olympic rugby titles

Rugby

NANJING, CHINA - AUGUST 20: Alexandre Lagarde of France gets past the Argentinan defence during the Rugby Sevens Final on day four of the Nanjing 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games at the Olympic Sports Park on August 20, 2014 in Nanjing, China. (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)

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France and Australia earned the first gold medals awarded on the Olympic stage in rugby since 1924 at the Youth Olympics in Nanjing on Wednesday.

The French men pulled away from Argentina 45-22 to avenge a group-stage defeat. Both France and Argentina, ranked in the top 10 of the Rugby Sevens World Series standings, look like favorites to qualify senior teams for the return of rugby at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

The Australian women capped an undefeated run to gold by dropping Canada 38-10 in the final. The Aussies conceded 27 points in the entire tournament and routed the U.S. 33-0 in the semifinals.

The U.S. women lost their bronze-medal match to host China. Fiji, which has never won an Olympic medal, took the men’s bronze over Kenya.

The Youth Olympics continue with coverage on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday and Thursday.

Youth Olympics broadcast schedule

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