London Sevens preview
ROUND EIGHT: Argentina enter the penultimate round of the Sevens World Series in pole position – sitting at the top of the standings for the first time ever.
The South Americans have 118 points after seven rounds, ahead of South Africa on 116 points and Australia with 110 points.
However, to take into account the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic which affected some teams’ ability to participate in some rounds of the World Series 2022, and in the interests of fairness, a unique ranking points system will be applied – which sees only the best seven out of the nine tournament results count towards the Series ranking for each team.
* Great Britain participated in the opening two rounds of the series in Dubai, as part of the standing agreement to play the full calendar year 2021, before reverting to compete as national unions for the remainder of the 2022 Series – with England, Scotland and Wales participating in the men’s Series.
England, Scotland and Wales received 33 percent each of Great Britain’s points from rounds one and two in Dubai.
Double Olympic champions Fiji will enter the London tournament high on confidence after reaching the Final in the last three rounds, winning gold twice in Toulouse and Singapore.
Fiji is defending champions in London, having won the title the last time the event took place in 2019.
Despite missing two rounds, Fiji could yet be in with a chance to clinch the series title.
Fiji will face the United States, Spain and Wales in Pool A in London.
Fiji captain Tevita Daugunu said: “We are really looking forward to playing here in London and hopefully we can back up our performance from last weekend.
“All the teams are getting more competitive tournament by tournament so if you want to win you have to work really hard.
“For the majority of the squad, this is our first time in London.
“There are a lot of Fiji fans here and we hope they will come out to support us in big numbers. We are really looking forward to playing at Twickenham this weekend.”
Series leaders Argentina and South Africa are paired in Pool B, along with fifth-placed Ireland – beaten finalists in Toulouse last weekend – and Kenya.
Argentina’s World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year Marcos Moneta said: “It feels great to be at the top of the standings for the first time, it is because of the hard work that we are putting in and it feels good to be competing with the big teams like South Africa, Australia, Fiji, New Zealand and others.
“Our objective is always to improve as a team. London is going to be really competitive, even in the pool stages.
I’m really excited to play at Twickenham, it is a great stadium – the capital of rugby.”
Pool C sees antipodean rivals Australia and New Zealand drawn together with France – bronze medallists on home soil last weekend – and Canada.
Hosts England will be looking to take inspiration from the supportive home crowd as they play Samoa, Japan and Scotland – who were title winners in London in 2016 and 2017.
(Continue below …)
(Kick-off is London time – GMT plus one hour)
Saturday, May 28
Australia v New Zealand (09.10)
France v Canada (09.32)
Argentina v South Africa (09.54)
Ireland v Kenya (10.16)
United States v Spain (10.38)
Fiji v Wales (11.00)
England v Scotland (11.22)
Samoa v Japan (11.44)
Australia v Canada (12.16)
France v New Zealand (12.38)
Argentina v Kenya (13.00)
Ireland v South Africa (13.22)
United States v Wales (13.44)
Fiji v Spain (14.06)
England v Japan (14.28)
Samoa v Scotland (14.50)
New Zealand v Canada (15.24)
France v Australia (15.46)
South Africa v Kenya (16.08)
Ireland v Argentina (16.30)
Spain v Wales (17.07)
Fiji v United States (17.35)
Scotland v Japan (18.05)
Samoa v England (18.33)