Cape Town Sevens preview
PARTY TIME: Outside of Hong Kong, the Cape Town leg of the World Sevens Series is the biggest ‘party’ on the circuit.
The World Series continues in Cape Town this weekend, with a three-day event – from December 9 to 11.
The race for Series glory and the all-important Olympic qualification spots continue to heat up in the all-new version of the global event.
The 16 team captains who will do battle for the Cape Town Sevens crown gathered in the sunshine at Maiden’s Cove in front of the spectacular backdrop of the Twelve Apostles Mountain Range on Wednesday as they fine-tune their preparations ahead of kick-off at Cape Town Stadium on Friday, December 9.
Hosts South Africa will enter the competition in a confident mood, following their outstanding comeback performance to claim the title in Dubai last weekend.
They are top of the Series standings after two of the 11 rounds.
Backed by a famously noisy and supportive home crowd the BlitzBoks will be sure to put on a show in Cape Town.
New Zealand are the defending Cape Town champions, having beaten South Africa in the Final the last time the tournament was hosted in the Mother City in December 2019, prior to the onset of the global pandemic.
The pool draw for Cape Town sees South Africa in Pool A – together with France, double Olympic champions Fiji and Canada.
Pool B includes Ireland, who were beaten finalists in Dubai, alongside Samoa, Uruguay and Japan.
New Zealand is in Pool C – alongside Argentina, Kenya and Spain.
The United States, reigning Series champions Australia, Great Britain and Uganda are in Pool D.
The 2022-2023 Series is shaping up to be the biggest, most competitive and most compelling to date with more at stake than ever before – as the top four ranked teams will earn qualification for the Olympic Games Paris 2024.
At the other end of the table, the number of teams for the 2023-2024 Series will reduce from 16 to 12 to equal the number of women’s teams and align with the Olympic competition structure, meaning fans can expect an intense battle to avoid relegation throughout the 2023 Series with every match and every point counting towards the final Series rankings.
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“It is wonderful to have the Cape Town Sevens back in town,” BlitzBok captain Siviwe Soyizwapi said.
“We were lucky to host the World Cup Sevens only a couple of months ago and were really grateful for that experience.
“However, somehow this feels different.
“The vibe around the city is different and I think, having done well in Dubai last weekend, the mood in our team as well.
“We did not do well at the World Cup Sevens, so we have this opportunity to fix that so soon after. We owe our supporters a good showing and will have to be at our very best if we want to do that.
“The standard of the World Series is so high at the moment and every game against any team can go either way.
“I think it is great for the spectators and the thousands of people expected this weekend will have some very exciting matches to watch.”
(Kick-off times are Cape Town time – GMT plus two hours)
Friday, December 9
Argentina v Kenya (14.22)
New Zealand v Spain (14.44)
Samoa v Uruguay (15.06)
Ireland v Japan (15.28)
Australia v Great Britain (15.50)
United States v Uganda (16.12)
France v Fiji (19.35)
South Africa v Canada (20.03)
Saturday, December 10
Argentina v Spain (-8.45)
New Zealand v Kenya (09.07)
Samoa v Japan (09.29)
Ireland v Uruguay (09.51)
Australia v Uganda (10.13)
United States v Great Britain (10.35)
France v Canada (10.57)
South Africa v Fiji (11.19)
Kenya v Spain (14.26)
New Zealand v Argentina (14.48)
Uruguay v Japan (15.10)
Ireland v Samoa (15.32)
Great Britain v Uganda (15.54)
United States v Australia (16.16)
Fiji v Canada (16.38)
South Africa v France (17.00)