Preview: Hong Kong Sevens

Thu, 05 Apr 2018 10:51
Large hong kong 7s captains 800

WORLD SERIES ROUND SEVEN: The seventh round of the global circuit will kick off on Friday, with Fiji returning to the competition in search of their fourth consecutive tournament title.

The Pacific islanders will contest Pool A against New Zealand, Russia and Samoa with one of their strongest squads in recent events.

Semi Kunatani and Isake Katonibau bolster their already experienced squad, as head coach Gareth Baber is eyeing a double win at Hong Kong and the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast on April 13 to 15.

In Pool B, Kenya features a number of key players such as Willy Ambaka, Collins Injera and Oscar Ouma. Fresh from their second place finish at the Canada leg in Vancouver last month, they will be aiming for another solid performance on the world series. Canada, Spain and Australia have also announced very competitive squads as they chase a win at the prestigious tournament.

Series leaders South Africa have opted for a younger squad in Hong Kong and will contest Pool C against a new look England side, talent-packed Scotland outfit and burgeoning South Korean team.

Pool D features three sides not in the Commonwealth Games - the United States, Argentina and France - who all have fielded full-strength sides.

The United States lifted the Cup in Las Vegas last month and have more silverware on their radar in Hong Kong. Wales' squad features the likes of Luke Treharne, Morgan Williams and Ethan Davies, so Pool D is set to be fiercely competitive.

Making the Hong Kong event all the more competitive is the qualifying tournament being staged to find the teams who will qualify to join the World Series full-time next year.

"For the Fijians, this is one of the biggest tournaments that exists," Fijian coach Gareth Baber said.

"I've selected a squad to go and win both Hong Kong and the Commonwealth Games, and we're ready to compete at the highest level," he said.

New Zealand Rugby's High-Performance Sevens Manager Tony Philp said it was vital to have experienced coaches lead the group at the prestigious Hong Kong event.

"We're under no illusion that Hong Kong will present a tough challenge for this group but they have been preparing well and there is a real air of excitement about what they can achieve," said Philp.

Another side looking to continue a recent form surge will be the United States.

"The competition is as intense as ever." United States coach Mike Friday said.

"Ultimately it's about which team delivers on the pitch in front of an electric atmosphere. When you get the opportunity to play in Hong Kong, you grab it with both hands."

There are few venues more intimidating than Hong Kong to make your debut, but Springbok Ryan Oosthuizen had some calming advice for the five new BlitzBoks that will run out for the team this weekend.
Friday's start will see a bunch of new faces in the BlitzBoks jersey, but Oosthuizen, who was a member of the 2016/17 World Series-winning team, was at ease with that.
"We back them just as much as the coach backed them by selecting them," Oosthuizen said.

"Hong Kong is a great tournament to play in, but we do not need to be overwhelmed by that. We have solid structures in place and a process that delivers results. So if the young guys stick to that, they will be fine.
"We will play with a smile on our faces because this is a massive opportunity for all of us to play for our country and to make our supporters proud."
Oosthuizen added: "The more senior guys will give advice and guidance as that is part of the team's culture. Philip Snyman and Chris Dry helped me along when I started, so I will do the same, but we are all in this together. If we stick together as a team, it will be much easier for us as a group."
(Kick-off time is local - GMT plus eight hours)

Friday, April 6
Argentina v Wales - 18.00
United States v France - 18.24
England v Scotland - 18.48
South Africa v South Korea - 19.10
Australia v Spain - 19.32
Kenya v Canada - 19.54
New Zealand v Russia - 20.18
Fiji v Samoa - 20.43

Saturday, April 7
Argentina v France - 11.14
United States v Wales - 11.38
England v South Korea - 12.00
South Africa v Scotland - 12.22
Australia v Canada - 12.48
Kenya v Spain - 13.10
New Zealand v Samoa - 13.32
Fiji v Russia - 13.54
Wales v France - 15.16
United States v Argentina - 15.38
Scotland v South Korea - 16.00
South Africa v England - 16.24
Spain v Canada - 16.48
Kenya v Australia - 17.10
Russia v Samoa - 17.32
Fiji v New Zealand - 17.54


There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
Pool 0
Team P W D L Pts
Spain Sevens 0 0 0 0 20
Papua New Guinea 0 1 0 0 1
South Korea 0 0 0 0 0
Pool 00
Team P W D L Pts
Uruguay 0 0 0 1 1
Pool 19
Team P W D L Pts
England Sevens 0 0 0 0 19
Pool 20
Team P W D L Pts
Uganda Sevens 0 0 0 0 2
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Fiji Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Canada Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Australia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
France Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool C
Team P W D L Pts
Argentina Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
United States Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool D
Team P W D L Pts
South Africa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Kenya Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Russia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Team P W D L Pts
Wales Sevens