Introduction, Pictures & Videos via World Rugby
More than two months have passed since New Zealand won the last round in Sydney and the Black Ferns Sevens will be bidding to win the HSBC Kitakyushu Sevens for the third year in a row.
New Zealand are also on the verge of setting a new record for consecutive victories on the series, arriving in Japan one win shy of their own benchmark of 37 consecutive wins set between April 2014 and May 2015.
The Black Ferns Sevens will face France – who they beat in last year's Cup final – as well as Russia and host nation Japan, the invitational team in Kitakyushu, in Pool A.
Pool B sees Australia and Canada, currently tied on 46 points in the series standings, paired with Spain and China.
USA, meanwhile, will face Ireland, Fiji and England in Pool C.
The top four teams in the 2019 series will book their tickets to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, joining already qualified Japan as the host nation, and avoid having to negotiate the regional qualifiers or global repechage tournament.
New Zealand currently lead the way with a perfect 60 points, followed by USA (48), Canada and Australia (both 46) with France (32), Ireland (30) and Russia (28) all hoping to close the gap between themselves and the top four with a strong tournament in Kitakyushu this weekend.
The action gets underway at Mikuni World Stadium at 10:30 local time (GMT+9) on Saturday with Ireland taking on Fiji.
WHERE AND WHEN?
The Kitakyushu Sevens take place at the Mikuni World Stadium (Capacity 15,000) on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th of April.
The matches kick-off Saturday 10:30 (02:30 UK time) and Sunday at 10:30 local time (02:30 UK time).
For a full fixture list click here.
WHERE CAN I SEE IT?
WHO’S THE FAVOURITE?
New Zealand’s women’s team are currently an unbeatable force and run the show on their own. In their current form, it takes a huge effort to beat the Black Ferns.
If anyone can beat the Kiwis, it is one of the three teams which currently sit behind New Zealand in the table. USA, Canada and Australia are all fighting for the second place with ony two points between them.
One To Watch | Ellia Green
Catching her ain't easy. Tackling her ain't easy. Playing against her, well, it ain't easy. Ellia Green is an absolute legend of the game and one of the reasons for Australia’s huge successes in women’s 7s.
Pool A | New Zealand, France, Russia, Japan
Pool B | Australia, Canada, Spain, China
Pool C | USA, Ireland, Fiji, England
Schedule Day One
Ireland v Fiji
USA v England
Canada v Spain
Australia v China
France v Russia
New Zealand v Japan
Ireland v England
USA v Fiji
Canada v China
Australia v Spain
New Zealand v Russia
France v Japan
Fiji v England
USA v Ireland
Spain v China
Australia v Canada
New Zealand v France
Russia v Japan