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The USA arrive in Singapore top of the series standings following an impressively consistent run of results which has seen them on the medal podium in six of the seven rounds so far, including victory on home soil in Las Vegas.
Fiji are hot on the heels of the USA in second place and arrive in Singapore on the back of victory in Hong Kong last weekend. Fiji will be aiming to repeat their feat of back-to-back triumphs, which they achieved last year. New Zealand in third and South Africa complete the top four line up in the current standings after seven rounds.
The 2019 series carries special significance as the top four teams will qualify directly for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, and with just 40 points separating the top five teams it is all to play for in the remaining three rounds of the series.
Should any of the top teams finish the Singapore event with a margin of 43 or more points ahead of the fifth placed team in the standings – currently England – they will have achieved Olympic qualification for Tokyo 2020 with two rounds to spare.
At the bottom end of the series standings the competition is equally intense as Wales, Japan and Kenya battle to avoid relegation with only three points separating the bottom three teams.
The relegated team will be replaced by Ireland who secured their place on next year’s series in style by comprehensively winning the qualifier event in Hong Kong last weekend. The beaten qualifier finalists Hong Kong are the invitational team in Singapore.
The pool draw for Hong Kong sees reigning Singapore title holders Fiji face South Africa, Scotland and Canada in Pool A. In Pool B France will be looking to continue their fine form following two consecutive cup final appearances and are up against Argentina, Australia and Hong Kong. Pool C sees series leaders USA take on England, Kenya and Wales, while in Pool D third placed New Zealand are drawn with Samoa, Japan and Spain.
When and Where?
The Singapore Sevens take place at the National Stadium (Capacity 55,000) in Kallang, on Saturday 13th of April and Sunday 14th of April. New Zealand and Japan kick-off the tournament at 10:00 local time (GMT +8) on Saturday. The knock-out matches will get underway on Sunday from 10:00 (GMT +8) onwards. The final is scheduled for 19:00 local time on Sunday (GMT +8).
Where Can I See It?
One To Watch | Johnny Vaili
Samoa has had a strong run, securing double-figure points during the past three tournaments, including an appearance in the Las Vegas final. Johnny Vaili is an absolute try-machine and has inspired his team to secure a decent 6th position in the table after seven rounds.
Who’s the favourite?
While the top three, USA, Fiji and New Zealand have firmly positioned themselves for the title race, France has been extremely strong recently, making it to two back-to-back finals. Another, interesting contest, is the battle between South Africa and England. Simon Amor’s team is currently nine points behind the Blitzboks. With a strong performance like last year in Singapore, England could gain more ground to secure the valuable fourth place in the table.
Pool A | Fiji, South Africa, Scotland, Canada
Pool B | France, Argentina, Australia, Hong Kong
Pool C | USA, England, Kenya, Wales
Pool D | Samoa, New Zealand, Japan, Spain
Day One Fixtures
NEW ZEALAND v JAPAN
SAMOA v SPAIN
ENGLAND v KENYA
USA v WALES
ARGENTINA v AUSTRALIA
FRANCE v HONG KONG
SOUTH AFRICA v SCOTLAND
FIJI v CANADA
NEW ZEALAND v SPAIN
SAMOA v JAPAN
ENGLAND v WALES
USA v KENYA
ARGENTINA v HONG KONG
FRANCE v AUSTRALIA
SOUTH AFRICA v CANADA
FIJI v SCOTLAND
JAPAN v SPAIN
SAMOA v NEW ZEALAND
KENYA v WALES
USA v ENGLAND
AUSTRALIA v HONG KONG
FRANCE v ARGENTINA
SCOTLAND v CANADA
FIJI v SOUTH AFRICA