Pic: World Rugby
Hosts South Africa, Fiji, New Zealand and Scotland stayed unbeaten to top their respective pools at the end of day one at the second round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Cape Town.
The Cup quarter-finals sees defending champions South Africa take on Wales, Scotland come face to face with the USA, Fiji meet England and the All Blacks will play Kenya.
After last week’s Dubai Sevens, the Blitzboks will be looking to defend their HSBC Cape Town Sevens title on day two and increase their lead at the top of the series standings after the opening two rounds.
History was made today when speedster Dan Norton became England's top scorer and powerhouse James Rodwell the countries most capped player.
First Rodwell became the most-capped England sevens player with a 71st tournament appearance before Norton scored his 220th, 221st and 22nd tries to become the all-time leading try scorer for England.
Taking over from Ben Gollings (220), Norton also moved into third on the all-time list behind Collins Injera (235) and Santiago Gomez Cora (230). England opened with a 33-10 win over Canada before Norton scored a brace in their 19-14 win over Argentina.
After a disappointing start to the new season in Dubai, New Zealand looked an improved side today, beating Argentina 26-12 before Canada came from 14-0 behind to draw 19-19 against the All Blacks Sevens. However, a 33-7 win against England in the final pool match secured the top position for New Zealand after day one.
Tomorrow the Cape Town Sevens continue at 10:36am local time.
12:04 | South Africa v Wales
12:26 | New Zealand v Kenya
12:48 | Scotland v USA
13:10 | Fiji v England
Cape Town Sevens | Results Day 1
Cape Town Sevens | Fixtures Day 2
The Australian women’s team kicked-off their home tournament with a clean-sweep of victories, to set up a quarter-final with Spain after the first day of the Sydney 7s.
New Zealand's three wins sets up a meeting with Ireland while Canada will play France.
USA and Russia complete the last eight.
The Challenge Trophy semi-finals are England v Papua New Guinea and Japan v Fiji.
With the Rugby World Cup Sevens just over six months away in San Francisco teams will not only be battling it out for the HSBC Sydney Sevens title but also crucial Rugby World Cup Sevens seedings points that will determine the draw for the tournament.
As the sun set in Sydney eight men's matches started the third leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series with the Blitzboks, New Zealand and Australia impressing.
In Pool C defending series champions racked up a half-century of points against Papua New Guinea. New Zealand were in a clinical mood against Russia and ran in nine tries in Pool A whilst Fiji prevailed over Samoa.
The other Pool C clash saw England start their campaign with a 22-10 victory and both France and Argentina opened their accounts with victories in Pool B.
Australia and the USA were involved in the toughest tussle of day one with the hosts prevailing 26-19 thanks to Tim Anstee's length-of-the-field try and Scotland finished the day on a high note with a 52-2 victory over Canada.
Sydney Sevens | Results Day 1
Sydney Sevens | Fixtures Day 2
Reigning series champions South Africa were one of four teams to achieve a perfect win record on day two in Sydney.
They join Argentina, Fiji and Australia as the unbeaten sides heading into the last eight after a second day of top quality rugby in the Australian sunshine. South Africa are currently on track to defend their title in Sydney and will face Kenya in the Cup quarter-finals. Fiji will face the USA while Argentina play England. New Zealand, tournament winners in Cape Town, will face off against their local rivals Australia.
Rosko Specman scored five tries in the pool stages and was pleased with his side's start to the tournament. “It's a good start for us, as in Cape Town we started too slowly and did not make the final," he said. "Here in Sydney we are focused on the basics because we know we can punish teams if we play to our game plan.”
The Challenge Trophy quarter-finals will be Samoa v Canada, Papua New Guinea v Wales, Scotland v Russia and France v Spain.
Sydney Sevens | Results Day 2
Sydney Sevens | Fixtures Day 3
In the opening round of the HSBC World Sevens Series, South Africa beat Fiji to win the first tournament of the season. At the prestigious Dubai Sevens, South Africa secured the Cup with a 26-14 win in the final.
Tries from Cecil Afrika and Branco du Preez gave the Blitzbokke an early lead, however Fijian captain Osea Kolinisau fired back to make it 14-7 at half-time.
In the second half Jerry Tuwai scored another try to level the score for Fiji, but shortly afterwards Chris Dry and Seabelo Senatla sealed the deal with a try each.
In the bronze final, speedster Dan Norton scored a remarkable four tries against Wales, resulting in a 33-10 win.
Australia finished the day in fifth place while USA won the Challenge Trophy with a 28-14 win over Samoa.
The next round of the HSBC World Sevens Series will be staged next weekend (10.12.-11.12.) in Cape Town.
CUP FINAL | Fiji 14-26 South Africa
BRONZE FINAL | England 38-10 Wales
CHALLENGE TROPHY | SAMOA 14-28 USA
All Dubai Sevens results
Text, Pictures and Videos: World Rugby
Fiji continued their march towards a fourth consecutive tournament win with a dominant display at round nine of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in London.
Current HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series leaders Fiji were sublime in the London sunshine on day one claiming three straight victories against Argentina, Scotland and New Zealand to top Pool A. The Pacific Islanders will face Pool D runners-up Canada in the first of tomorrow’s cup quarter-finals.
Hosts England finished the day in fine style in front of over 46,000 fans with a convincing 38-12 victory over Kenya to set up an exciting quarter-final against Australia with another huge crowd expected at Twickenham Stadium tomorrow. Australia impressed on day one with a perfect record of three victories over Ireland, Wales and Spain to top Pool B.
South Africa, currently lying in second place in the series standings just four points behind Fiji, finished in top spot in Pool D despite a shock defeat to Samoa after securing victories over Canada and Russia. This sets up a mouth-watering quarter-final clash against New Zealand as the All Blacks Sevens defeated Scotland and Argentina to finish as runners-up behind Fiji in Pool A.
USA topped pool C following wins over England and France and a draw with Kenya. The USA Eagles were helped on their way by top try scorer Carlin Isles who showed his pace to overtake teammate Perry Baker as leading series try scorer with an outstanding six tries on day one in London, taking his overall series tally to 41.
The story of the day came from Pool B as Ireland made history by reaching the Cup quarter-finals for the first time ever. On their first appearance in the series since 2004, Ireland clinched second place in the pool courtesy of a comprehensive 38-10 victory over Spain. The Irish attack was led by 24-year-old Jordan Conroy who impressed on his series debut with four tries on day one.
Each round of the series sees one invitational team join the 15 core teams on the world series and Ireland’s success represents the first time a non-core team has reached the quarter-finals since Japan at Las Vegas in 2016.
Tickets can be purchased on the day for tomorrow’s finals day which gets underway at 09:30 (GMT+1) at Twickenham Stadium. For ticket information click here.
Fiji v Canada
USA v Ireland
South Africa v New Zealand
Australia v England
London Sevens | Results Day 1
London Sevens | Fixtures Day 2
Fiji overcame closest rivals South Africa 21-17 in a thrilling final of the HSBC London Sevens at an exuberant Twickenham Stadium to claim their fourth successive tournament victory and extend their lead at the top of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
The result sees Fiji take a seven-point lead over South Africa in the standings going into the 10th and final round of the series in Paris from 8-10 June.
Invitational team Ireland created history by beating hosts England 21-19 to claim the bronze medal with a last gasp try from the outstanding Jordan Conroy, his eighth of the tournament, followed by a stunning conversion from the side-line by Mark Roche.
Fiji had seen off Ireland in the semi-finals by a margin of 38-12, while South Africa reached the final courtesy of a 29-19 semi-final victory over England.
Over 81,000 fans were in attendance across the weekend and were treated to a sun-soaked showcase of exciting rugby sevens action as Fiji continued their recent unstoppable form.
Fiji captain Jerry Tuwai was delighted with the victory: “I’m really happy with the boys today. It is always a pleasure to play in London and we are really blessed with all the Fijian supporters here. The victory means a lot to us, as a team and as a nation. Our goal was to come here and lift the London cup and we did. Our next goal is to win the world series so we will regroup and be ready to go again next week. We are really excited about Paris.”
Tuwai’s team mate Semi Radradra won the HSBC Player of the Final award and after receiving his medal from World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont, said: “I found it tough today but I got help from the boys and was hanging in there. I know we trust each other and finally we got the win.”
Earlier in the day New Zealand secured fifth place with a comprehensive 26-5 victory over USA, while Kenya beat Wales 33-19 to finish in ninth position and lift the Challenge trophy.
Meanwhile the series said goodbye to referee Craig Joubert who brought down the curtain on a stellar match official career as the Rugby World Cup 2011 final referee took charge of this 200th and last sevens series match with the Fiji v Ireland semi-final. Joubert will continue his involvement with the game as World Rugby Sevens Referee Coach.
Attention now turns to the final round of both the men’s and women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Paris from 8-10 June. With only seven points separating the top two in the men’s standings, and Australia leading arch rivals New Zealand by just four points in the women’s standings, it promises to be an exciting finale to the series
London Sevens | Results Day 2
World Sevens Series | Standings
The stage is set for an exhilarating finale to the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series on Sunday as the top two teams in the standings, Fiji and South Africa, successfully secured their places in the quarter-finals at the 10th and final round in Paris.
England will take on Fiji, while South Africa face Spain, Ireland play Canada and New Zealand are drawn against USA in what promises to be a hotly contested quarter-final line-up.
Series leaders Australia will play Fiji while New Zealand, who are in hot pursuit in the race for the series title, will face Spain as the quarter final line-up was confirmed after an action packed first day of competition at the Stade Jean Bouin in Paris.
In the other quarter-finals hosts France take on England, while Canada against USA completes the line-up.
With Australia leading rivals New Zealand by just four points in the standings, the stage is set for an epic climax to the series. The two dominant teams find themselves on different sides of the quarter-final draw meaning they could meet in the final. A silver medal in Paris would be enough to secure the series title for Australia.
Both nations recorded perfect records on day one with three straight victories to top their groups. Australia began with a 24-10 victory against Fiji, followed by a tense 24-20 defeat of Russia and finished the day with a convincing 31-14 win over Canada. New Zealand started the day with a hard fought 24-12 win over England, before beating Wales 54-7 and completing the day with a solid 17-0 defeat of Ireland.
In front of an enthusiastic crowd hosts France showed their dominance to record three wins out of three with crowd pleasing victories over USA (14-5), Spain (20-0) and Japan (26-17). France are currently third in the series standings and will be hoping to secure a place on the podium on home turf.
Invitational team Wales created a moment of history by scoring their first ever try on their first series world series appearance against Ireland, despite going down to a 24-5 defeat.
The fifth and final round of the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series 2018 sees three days of intense rugby sevens action in a combined event with the men’s series finale.
The men’s tournament begins on Saturday 9 June with Australia taking on Wales in the first game of the day at 09:00 local time (GMT+2). A large crowd is expected as the women’s action returns to the pitch at 15:02 local time (GMT+2).
Paris Sevens | Results Day 1
Paris Sevens | Fixtures Day 2
New Zealand finished the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series in style with a convincing 33-7 win over rivals Australia in the final of the HSBC Women’s Paris Sevens to take the gold medal.
Both teams had reason to celebrate at the final whistle as the silver medal in Paris means Australia secure the overall series crown by virtue of their consistency across the series, finishing on the podium in each of the five rounds. Australia finished the series with 92 points, ahead of New Zealand on 90.
Hosts France claimed the series bronze medal despite being defeated 17-10 by Canada in the third-place play-off match in Paris.
Australia qualified for the Cup quarter-finals of the HSBC Sydney Sevens after a sunny first day of action, while England, Wales and New Zealand stayed unbeaten in the pool stage.
The Australians will face Wales in just their second Cup quarter-final of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2016-17. Wales topped their pool after a magnificent win against Fiji, thanks to a hat-trick from Morgan Williams.
England recovered well from last week’s disappointing performance. Three out of three wins, including one over series leaders South Africa and with Dan Norton becoming the second highest try scorer of all-time, England created a dream start to the tournament. They will face Argentina in the Cup quarter-finals on day two of the men's event.
New Zealand will play Fiji after they managed three victories against Scotland, Papua New Guinea and hosts Australia. USA will challenge South Africa in the Cup quarter-finals. The Americans lost to Russia in the opening game but won the remaining matches against Canada and Argentina.
Meanwhile, Kenya will play Russia, Scotland face Samoa, Canada meet Japan and France take on Papua New Guinea in the Challenge Trophy quarter-finals on Sunday.
ENGLAND v ARGENTINA
NEW ZEALAND v FIJI
USA v SOUTH AFRICA
WALES v AUSTRALIA
While the men’s tournament continues on Sunday, the women’s competition finished with a breath taking final and a number of great surprises. Olympic Bronze winners Canada beat rivals USA 21-17 to claim their third tournament win, in front of a packed house at the Allianz Stadium.
After a disappointing performance in Dubai, USA shocked New Zealand to reach the final, while Canada overcame top-favourites Australia 12-7 in the second semi-final of the day.
Meanwhile, on a day of shock results, Brazil beat England 17-12 to claim the Challenge Trophy as New Zealand went on to beat their rivals Australia to claim the bronze medal on Saturday.
In the overall standings, New Zealand is now, with 36 points, four points ahead of Australia (32) followed by Canada (30 pts) and Fiji (24 pts). Click here for the full standings.
Cup Final | USA 17 - 21 CAN
Bronze Final | NZL 19 - 0 AUS
Challenge Trophy | ENG 12 -17 BRA
Sydney Sevens Men's | Results Day 1
Sydney Sevens Men's | Fixtures Day 2
Sydney Sevens Women's | Results Day 2
They’ve done it again! South Africa underlined their hot-favourite status with the third tournament win this season, following a 29-14 win against England in the final of the Sydney Sevens.
The Blitzboks played in all four finals of the HSBC Sevens World Series 2016/17. They faced England for the second time in a final this season and while England managed to beat South Africa on their home ground in December, this time it was all about the men in green.
Once again it was Seabelo Senatla who led the team with an incredible performance throughout the past two days. This was the last tournament for the HSBC Player of the Final as Senatla will join Super Rugby franchise Stormers.
Tries from captain Philip Snyman, Senatla and Justin Geduld went unanswered in the first half plus another one from Geduld in the second half sealed the game early. England captain Tom Mitchell as well as Dan Norton scored in the second half but it was too little too late.
Meanwhile, New Zealand beat Australia to claim bronze while Russia walked away with the Challenge Trophy in Sydney after beating France, 26-0.
After four rounds, South Africa leads the table with 85 points, followed by England (68 pts), Fiji (64 pts) and New Zealand (56 pts).
The series now moves to Las Vegas next month for the fifth round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, which again joins up with the women's series.
Cup Final | South Africa 29 - 14 England
Bronze Final | New Zealand 29 - 14 Australia
Challenge Trophy | Russia 26 - 0 France
Text & Photos: World Rugby
Australia women and South Africa men will be looking to retain their titles as teams begin their preparations in earnest for the upcoming HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2019
The 2019 series has added incentive for the 11 core women’s teams and 15 core men’s teams who will battle it out to secure not only the coveted HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series titles, but also a place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games by finishing in the top four of the 2019 series.
The women’s series increases to six rounds this year with the addition of new opening round, HSBC USA Women’s Sevens, kicking off in Glendale, Colorado on 20-21 October. The increase in playing opportunities is part of World Rugby’s commitment to provide more high-quality competition under the wider Women’s Plan 2017-25.
After just five days to rest and recover from a lengthy and bruising Las Vegas weekend, the 16 teams have landed in Canada’s third largest city, the picturesque west-coast metropolis of Vancouver in order to crown the winner of the sixth stage of this year’s HSBC Sevens World Series.
Following the launch of the event in 2016, the Canada Sevens have been proven to be a massive success and ticket sales for the only tournament played on artificial turf have even picked up this year. A huge crowd of 76,000 rugby-mad supporters are expected to turn up over the next couple of days.
While the party on the ranks of the state-of-the-art BC Place Stadium is set, it is now down to the teams on the pitch to deliver a worthy entertainment programme. The Blitzboks are entering the sixth stage of the series as massive favourites with four out of five tournament wins and just two of their 30 matches lost.
However, despite the overwhelming South African dominance at the HSBC World Sevens Series this year, Blitzboks coach Neil Powell warned this week:
“Unfortunately there is a lot of talk that we have the series sewn up, which cannot be further from the truth,” he said.
“One bad tournament, where you don't make the semi-finals, could derail our momentum significantly. The last thing I want to players to think of is a fifth tournament win or our lead in the series and then getting ahead of themselves. We dare not to look past Chile in that first pool game.”
Besides Chile, Pool A also includes England and Kenya, two teams who are capable of beating the Boks’ as proven in the past. Especially England, who finished in a disappointing 5th position in Las Vegas are eager to close the two-point gap to second-placed Fiji who is just sitting above Simon Amor’s men at the moment.
Fiji, drawn in Pool B with Argentina, Samoa and Wales have shown a significant increasing performance last weekend, but the discipline did let the Olympic champions down eventually when they lost to South Africa in the final.
Like Fiji, the USA also played with huge confidence boost in Sin City. Supported by an enthusiastic crowd, the hosts only just lost to South Africa in the semi-final but got away with a well-deserved Bronze final win against New Zealand. If they can carry the momentum over to this weekend, they might be able to win their Pool C where they meet Australia, France and Japan.
Finally, in Pool D the Canadians will go head to head with New Zealand, Scotland and Russia. Canada who had their best result in January when they lost to Scotland in the Wellington Bronze Final, will certainly don’t want to let their home fans down on this special occasion. The team, under the guidance of former Samoa coach Damian McGrath, experienced some major upsets in recent years such as the missed Rio-qualification and significant cuts in funding. This weekend could be a golden opportunity to unleash their potential in front of 10000s of Canadian fans.
The Canada Sevens take place at the BC Place Stadium (Capacity 54,500) in Vancouver, from Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th of March. The matches kick-off on Saturday at 09:30 local time (GMT -8) and Sunday 09:30 local time. The final is scheduled for 18:19 local time on Sunday
In the UK Sky Sports will cover the tournament on all days. For a full TV guide click here, for any other country check out this handy guide.
Since Seabelo Senatla has left the Blitzboks to join Super Rugby franchise Stormers, questions arose about who could replace the brilliant all-rounder. Last weekend Roscko Specman put his name in the head with a spectacular man of the final performance is the man. The 27-year old is now one of the most exciting prospects on the tour.
Pool A: South Africa, England, Kenya, Chile
Pool B: Fiji, Argentina, Samoa, Wales
Pool C: Australia, France, Japan, USA
Pool D: Canada, New Zealand, Scotland, Russia
Australia v France – 09:30
United States v Japan – 09:52
Argentina v Samoa – 10:14
Fiji v Wales – 10:36
England v Kenya – 10:58
South Africa v Chile – 11:20
Canada v Scotland – 11:42
New Zealand v Russia – 12:04
Australia v Japan – 13:06
United States v France – 13:28
Argentina v Wales – 13:50
Fiji v Samoa – 14:12
England v Chile – 14:34
South Africa v Kenya – 14:56
Canada v Russia – 15:18
New Zealand v Scotland – 15:40
France v Japan – 16:46
United States v Australia – 17:08
Samoa v Wales – 17:30
Fiji v Argentina – 17:52
Kenya v Chile – 18:14
South Africa v England – 18:36
Scotland v Russia – 18:58
New Zealand v Canada – 19:20
Following a thrilling start to the new World Sevens Series in Dubai last weekend, the teams are back in action just seven days later at the Cape Town Sevens.
The Cape Town Sevens take place at the Cape Town Stadium (Capacity 55,000) on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th of December.
The matches kick-off on Saturday at 10:15 local time (08:15 UK time) and Sunday 10:36 local time (08:30 UK time).
See the full day 1 fixture below.
Dubai Sevens winner South Africa and runners-up Fiji were the outstanding teams of the opening round. Especially South Africa seems to be in top form and with the home support this weekend, the Blitzboks might be off with the perfect start to the 2016/2017 season securing 2/2 wins.
England’s speedster Dan Norton leads the DHL Performance Tracker. The 28-year old impressed in Dubai last weekend and with the all-time top try scorer crown in prospect, the former Hartpury student will be keen to continue his strong start.
South Africa, Australia, USA, Russia
Fiji, France, Kenya, Japan
England, New Zealand, Argentina, Canada
Wales, Scotland, Samoa, Uganda
Saturday, December 10 (Kick-off is local time)
Scotland v Samoa – 10:15
Wales v Uganda – 10:37
New Zealand v Argentina – 10:59
England v Canada – 11:21
France v Kenya – 11:43
Fiji v Japan – 12:05
Australia v USA – 12:27
South Africa v Russia – 12:49
Scotland v Uganda – 13:36
Wales v Samoa – 13:58
New Zealand v Canada – 14:20
England v Argentina – 14:42
France v Japan – 15:04
Fiji v Kenya – 15:26
Australia v Russia – 15:48
South Africa v USA – 16:10
Samoa v Uganda – 16:57
Wales v Scotland – 17:19
Argentina v Canada – 17:41
England v New Zealand – 18:03
Kenya v Japan – 18:50
Fiji v France – 19:12
USA v Russia – 19:34
South Africa v Australia – 19:56
This year’s series has proved to be the most competitive ever with just 37 points separating the top four teams in the standings and five different winners in the first five rounds. It is all to play for in London this weekend as the race for the series title heats up ahead of the grand finale in Paris on 8-10 June.
Following successive victories over the last three rounds, Fiji enters the HSBC London Sevens with high confidence and a four-point lead over South Africa, who are closely followed by New Zealand in third and Australia in fourth at the top of the table.
“To come to London on top of the standings is a massive boost for us, it gives us another thing to push for to win the series,” said Fiji captain Jerry Tuwai. "We always take one game at a time and we respect all the teams because nowadays they are all really hard to play against. It is very close to South Africa, New Zealand and Australia so we will not rest, we will keep on pushing.”
This weekend’s event marks the 18th year of the London Sevens and will see a special celebration of the English capital’s diversity.
“We love coming to London because of Twickenham and playing in this massive stadium,” said Tuwai. "We love playing here because we have a lot of Fijian supporters in London and we want everyone to come and watch.”
Reigning London Sevens champions Scotland has run out winners at Twickenham for the last two years and will be aiming to make it a hat-trick in 2018. Reflecting on their past success Scotland captain Scott Riddell said: “The last two years have been something amazing to be part of and we have some very fond memories of real career highlights so far. Every game was an absolute battle last year but we managed to end up on the right side of it.”
“We are in a tough group, but every game is tough and we’ll look to impose our game on the opposition,” added Riddell. "It’s always good to have a raucous crowd at Twickenham, it doesn’t come much better. It’s probably the biggest crowd that we get to experience all year and we’ll really raise our game for that.”
The London 7s takes place at the Twickenham Stadium, on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd of June. The matches kick-off Saturday and Sunday at 09:30 local time. The final is scheduled for 17:57 local time on Sunday.
In the UK, Sky Sports will cover the tournament on both days. For a full TV guide click here, for any other country check out this useful guide.
FIJI, NEW ZEALAND, SCOTLAND, ARGENTINA
AUSTRALIA, WALES, SPAIN, IRELAND
ENGLAND, KENYA, USA, FRANCE FIJI, JAPAN
SOUTH AFRICA, SAMOA, CANADA, RUSSIA 7
London Sevens | Fixtures Day 1
Rugby World Cup Sevens qualification, the series title and relegation fights are all on the agenda this weekend as teams get set for the HSBC Paris Sevens.
The ninth round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series kicks off at the Stade Jean Bouin in central Paris on Saturday with South Africa leading the standings, 25 points ahead of Fiji with England a further two points behind in third.
South Africa failed to reach the final for the first time this season in Singapore last month, but should they reach the Cup decider or lift the silverware in Paris then they would only need to take the field at Twickenham next weekend to secure a second series crown and first since 2009.
However, captain Philip Snyman insists his side are taking nothing for granted and are focused only on improving from the last round.
"We're really looking forward to the sevens in Paris this upcoming weekend. We had a nice break in Stellenbosch since Singapoore and we worked hard. We want to fix some mistakes this weekend," he said.
"The guys who are joining for Paris are looking really sharp. We have guys like Rosko Specman coming back in and the team is in good spirits."
The series title is not the only focal point in Paris, though, as four teams will be looking to cement their passage to Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 in San Francisco.
Nine teams have already qualified, the quarter-finalists from RWC Sevens 2013 in Moscow - New Zealand, England, Fiji, Kenya, South Africa, Wales, Australia, and France - and USA as 2018 hosts.
Four teams can join them through the 2016-17 series as the best ranked outside those nine qualifiers with Canada, Argentina and Scotland able to confirm their qualification this weekend in Paris. The final spot from the series looks to be a race between defending Paris champions Samoa and Russia with the Pacific islanders nine points ahead of their rivals.
"I think RWC Sevens is a really special event for Canada, it being in the States and so close to us. I think San Fran will be a cool venue. Just getting that qualification done and sorted out will be great and then we can look forward to the actual tournament," said Nate Hirayama, who captained Canada to their first series Cup title in Singapore.
Further down the series standings Japan, who finished fourth at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, are battling to avoid losing their status as a core team on the series as they lie nine points behind Russia with two rounds left.
Spain, who join the 15 core teams as the invitational team in Paris and London, will replace the relegated side next season after winning the 2017-18 series qualifier in Hong Kong last month.
The Paris 7s take place in the home of Stade Français the Stade Jean-Bouin in the French capital (Capacity 20,000), on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th of May. The matches kick-off Saturday at 10:00 local time (9:00 UK time) and Sunday 09:00 (08:00 UK time). The final is scheduled for 17:30 local time on Sunday (16:30 UK time).
In the UK, Sky Sports will cover the tournament on both days. For a full TV guide click here, for any other country check out this useful guide.
Pool A: Canada, South Africa, Scotland, Japan
Pool B: USA, New Zealand, Wales, Argentina
Pool C: England, Kenya, France, Spain
Pool D: Australia, Fiji, Samoa, Russia
Full Fixture List
The World Sevens Series is back this weekend with the eighth stop of the 10-tournament circuit, staged at the huge National Stadium of Singapore. The 16 teams only had a week to rest and recover from a demanding and memorable three-day competition in Hong Kong.
With three tournaments to go and despite a 22-0 loss against Fiji in the final of the Hong Kong Sevens, the Blitzboks remain the top favourites for the title this year however, Singapore is a place famous for big surprises as Kenya proved when they won their first-ever Cup title last year.
Last week's Hong Kong Sevens was once again a display of outstanding quality and small margins between the teams. This weekend shouldn't be much different and promises to become another cracking contest.
So lean back and enjoy another thrilling weekend of 7s.
The Singapore Sevens take place at the Singapore National Stadium (Capacity 55,000), on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th of April. The matches kick-off Saturday at 11:00 local time (GMT +8) and Sunday 11:00 (GMT +8). The final is scheduled for 20:30 local time on Sunday (GMT +8).
While last weekend, England’s Dan Norton made the headlines becoming the World Sevens Series all-time top scorer, Russia's Vladimir Ostroushko was the outstanding performer in Hong Kong.
Ostroushko just played his first tournament this season and his return to the series was absolute class. The 30-year-old's carries stat of 32 was seven more than any other player in the top seven and was a significant contributor to his overall total of 56. Ostroushko also made 13 tackles, four breaks and sevens offloads over the weekend.
Pool A: Fiji, Canada, Russia, Hong Kong
Pool B: South Africa, England, France, Japan,
Pool C: Australia, Argentina, Kenya, Samoa
Pool D: USA, New Zealand, Scotland, Wales
Argentina v Kenya (11.00)
Australia v Samoa (11.22)
England v France (11.44)
South Africa v Japan (12.06)
Canada v Russia (12.30)
Fiji v Hong Kong (12.52)
New Zealand v Scotland (13.14)
United States v Wales (13.36)
Argentina v Samoa (14.00)
Australia v Kenya (14.22)
England v Japan (14.44)
South Africa v France (15.06)
Canada v Hong Kong (15.28)
Fiji v Russia (15.50)
New Zealand v Wales (16.12)
United States v Scotland (16.34)
Kenya v Samoa (17.56)
Australia v Argentina (18.18)
France v Japan (18.40)
South Africa v England (19.02)
Russia v Hong Kong (19.44)
Fiji v Canada (20.06)
Scotland v Wales (20.28)
United States v New Zealand (20.50)
The Fijian Rugby Union has launched a bid to host a leg of the World Sevens Series. A campaign named "Fiji for 7s" has been published, aiming to bring the prestigious World Sevens Series to Fiji.
Fijis most famous and one of the finest 7s players in the world Waisale Serevi is the ambassador for the campaign. He stated: "It's time to share our passion with the world and get behind Fiji Rugby's bid for a leg of the World Series Sevens. Now, more than ever, we need every Fiji Rugby Fan to help make this dream a reality."
Fans of Fijian 7s can support the initiative online by registering on the campaign website. Fiji are the current Olympic champions in men's rugby sevens, have won two World Cups as well as three World Series.
Fiji for 7s | Campaign Website
This Friday marks the beginning of yet another World Sevens Series season with the renowned Dubai Sevens, the launch of another eventful year for the ever-growing game.
It’s the first stop of the 10-tournament circuit which covers events on all five continents, starting in Dubai this weekend before moving on to play in Cape Town a week later for the last tournament of the year. The new 7s year starts in Australia (Sydney) at the end of January closely followed by the New Zealand leg (Hamilton) at the beginning of February.
In March, the 16 teams head to America to play a leg in the US (Las Vegas) and in Canada (Vancouver) a week later. The world-famous Hong Kong 7s and the Singapore 7s are on order in April before the series ends in June with the two European competitions in London and the series finale in Paris for the first time.
There are 15 core teams this season including Argentina, Australia, Canada, England, Fiji, France, Kenya, New Zealand, Russia, Samoa, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, USA and Wales. In addition, one invitational on each round will complete the line-up.
So much to play for this season
While the World Sevens Series remains an ever-growing and entertaining prospect, it’s just one highlight in another momentous 7s-year. The outstanding event will be the seventh Rugby Sevens World Cup in July. Hosted at the AT&T Park in San Francisco, the 41k-seated home of the San Francisco Giants baseball team promises to become a hugely expected three-day long mega-event.
Unlike the annual World Sevens Series, the World Cup turned out to be a slightly more fortunate competition for the northern hemispheric teams. England won the inaugural event in 1993 on Scottish soil with famous characters like Lawrence Dallaglio and Matt Dawson before Wales produced a shock win over Argentina 2009 in Dubai to claim the title.
However, since then both tournaments and the historical launch of the Olympic 7s event has been dominated by men’s and women’s teams from the Southern Hemisphere. New Zealand above all, proved that the hugely successful talent production includes not only world-class 15s-aside and Rugby League athletes but also countless skilled 7s players.
Since the launch of the World Sevens Series in 1999, the Kiwis topped the table 12 out of 18 times at the end of the season and secured two World Cup titles, a record that shows how dominating they have been within this code of Union. However, in the past three seasons, Fiji topped the table twice while South Africa are the current champions following a perfect 2016/2017 season. England played a fine season and deservedly finished in a strong second position.
Before the World Cup in San Francisco, the international 7s elite will be challenged at another global competition, the 21st Commonwealth Games at Australia’s Gold Coast. From the 13th to the 15th of April, 16 men’s and 8 women’s teams are competing for the medals.
Who’s in the mix of silverware?
If South Africa showcases a similar performance like last season, surely coach Neil Powell has an excellent chance to guide the current Series and Commonwealth champions to back-to-back wins. Key players such as Chris Dry and Rosko Specman, both members of last season’s World Series Dream Team and the hugely experienced Kyle Brown and Justin Geduld are all back on board.
Kwagga Smith just interrupted his 7s-commitments with a few successful months of 15s with Super Rugby franchise Lions, Currie Cup side Golden Lions and a man-of-the-match performance for the Barbarians against the All Blacks. He’s back also back now and ready to strengthen a squad which finished last season with an impressive 28-point winning margin over second-placed England.
Simon Amor’s England squad looks promising and with the outstanding captain, Tom Mitchell and record try scorer Dan Norton they will be a good chance to finish in the top-three again, however Dan Bibby, one of England’s key player, won’t be available due to injury which could be a difficult one to replace.
The bookmakers favour Olympic gold medallists Fiji to finish second behind South Africa. With a new coaching setup, Welsh coach Gareth Baber who replaced the hugely successful Ben Ryan required time to find the winning recipe for the Flying Fijians. They finished the season in the third position but snatched only one tournament win, the Hong Kong 7s.
New Zealand, also under new guidance with Scottish coach Clark Laidlaw had a poor season, considering their enormously high standards. Laidlaw replaced coaching legend and IRB Hall of Fame member Gordon Tietjens, who stepped down after over 20 years in charge of New Zealand’s 7s team. Admittedly, not the easiest of tasks to follow such enormous footsteps, however failing to qualify for any Cup-finals during last year’s season must disappoint for any Kiwi fan. The nation is blessed with many top-stars such as the wonderful Tim Mikkelson and even though long-serving captain DJ Forbes announced his retirement New Zealand should be in the mix for the title.
One team with the most impressive improvements in recent years are the US boys. Sevens guru Mike Friday has formed a world-class team since his arrival in 2014. Especially former sprinter Perry Baker, who is not only the overall top points scorer of last season but also the freshly crowned World Rugby Sevens player of the year, has helped his team to reach a historic fifth place finish last season. They made it to the final in Singapore but just fell short against rivals Canada. However, 7s is an ever-growing giant in the States and the future looks bright for Mike Friday’s team. Hosting the World Cup and the sixth round of the series offers another golden opportunity to showcase the enthusiastic passion for 7s made in America.
Finally, it’s worth focussing on last year’s sixth-placed finisher Australia. In the last few years, the women’s side were the outstanding team from Down Under especially with the sensational Gold medal win in Rio. But the men’s team had a strong pre-season bagging a few important tournament wins, which should give Andy Friend’s outfit a confidence boost. Skipper Lewi Holland is optimistic, especially with the Commonwealth Games on home soil, this might be a very successful season for Australian rugby.
The World Sevens Series kicks-off this Friday 1st of December with the Dubai Sevens at The Sevens Stadium and concludes on Saturday the 2nd of December. For all tournament details and a full scheduleclick here.
World Sevens Series | Website
Rugby Sevens World Cup | Website
Commonwealth Games | Website
The Blitzboks stay on top after three rounds of the World Sevens Series. Another tournament win against Fiji last weekend in Wellington should give South Africa plenty of confidence for round four in Sydney this weekend. However, the likes of Fiji, England and hosts Australia will put in everything to make the life hard for the leaders. These seven players made it into the Wellington Sevens Dream Team:
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