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Thu 12 Dec 2019 | 12:26

Preview: Cape Town Sevens

Preview: Cape Town Sevens
Thu 12 Dec 2019 | 12:26
Preview: Cape Town Sevens
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FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING: This year’s tournament will be the first time that Cape Town will be hosting both the men’s and women’s competitions from Friday, December 13 to Sunday, December 15.

Cape Town is one of six combined men’s and women’s events this year before 24 teams will travel to Japan in July for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

In terms of the men’s series, the most mouth-watering of the pools are certainly Pool A, where the three medallists from last year will meet the hosts and Dubai champions South Africa, USA and defending series and Cape Town champions Fiji.

With a snake format now used to determine the men’s draw – as it has been on the women’s series – it means that the eighth and ninth-place finishes of USA and Fiji respectively in Dubai have resulted in the eye-catching pool that also features invitational team Japan.

With one of the three – who all finished in the top four of the 2019 series to book their place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games – certain to miss out on the Cup quarter-finals there will be no room for error with Fiji, in particular, not wanting to miss out on the top eight for the second round running.

“It is a big pool and you can’t throw away Japan, I think they are a team that can also play well on their day,” said South Africa coach Neil Powell.

“It will be a tough pool. If you look at the pool it is one, two and four from last season’s seedings. It will be tough but maybe that is something we needed to get a good challenge and if we can get through it nicely it will build character. Hopefully, it is a good weekend for us and we will take it one game at a time and our focus is on the first game on Friday night against Japan.”

Off the back of their win last week, South Africa captain Siviwe Soyizwapi insists that the focus is now solely on their home tournament.

“We are feeling very happy and excited but we’ve said that we will leave what happened in Dubai, in Dubai,” he said.

“We have another tournament coming this weekend so the focus will be on the recovery and getting back to 100 percent.

“[The atmosphere] is always electric and the fans always come out each and every day, so there’s going to be a big buzz and we get goosebumps every time we run onto the field.”

Pool B in the second round of the World Rugby Sevens Series 2020 features Dubai runners-up New Zealand, Argentina, Canada and Wales, while Pool C has a European flavour with bronze medallists England paired with France, Spain and Scotland.

Samoa, Australia, Ireland and Kenya make up Pool D.

Cape Town makes its debut as a host on the women’s series this weekend, becoming the 16th stop since the series began in 2012-13 and the first ever on the African continent.

Dubai champions and series leaders New Zealand are the top seeds and drawn with Russia, Fiji and invitational team South Africa, who will play on home soil for the first time, in Pool A.

Canada, the runners-up in Dubai for the second year running, will face France, Spain and Brazil in Pool C, while USA, Australia, England and Ireland make up Pool C.

The third round of the women’s series gets the tournament underway at Cape Town Stadium on Friday when Olympic champions Australia take on England.

Teams will play one pool match on Friday with the two remaining matches played on Saturday with the knockout stages bringing the curtain down on the tournament on Sunday.

Preview: Cape Town Sevens

Preview: Cape Town Sevens

Schedule:
(Kick-off is local time – GMT plus two hours)

Friday, December 13

Australia v Ireland – 16.37
Samoa v Kenya – 16.59
France v Spain – 17.21
England v Scotland – 17.43
Argentina v Canada – 18.35
New Zealand v Wales – 19.05
USA v Fiji – 19.35
South Africa v Japan – 20.03

Saturday, December 14

Australia v Kenya – 10.57
Samoa v Ireland – 11.19
France v Scotland – 12.01
England v Spain – 12.23
Argentina v Wales – 12.45
New Zealand v Canada – 13.07
USA v Japan – 13.29
South Africa v Fiji – 13.51
Ireland v Kenya – 16.47
Samoa v Australia – 17.09
Spain v Scotland – 17.51
England v France – 18.13
Canada v Wales – 18.35
New Zealand v Argentina – 19.05
Fiji v Japan – 19.35
South Africa v USA – 20.03

Source: @WorldRugby

 

 

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