Fri 1 Jun 2018 | 08:20

PREVIEW: London Sevens

PREVIEW: London Sevens
Fri 1 Jun 2018 | 08:20
PREVIEW: London Sevens

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The 2017/2018 World Rugby Sevens Series will go down to the wire with Fiji and the BlitzBoks fighting it out for the overall title.

A second World Series title in as many years is something the BlitzBoks are aiming for in the next two weeks as the series reaches the last two legs in England and Paris respectively.

The South Africans trail Fiji by four points and need to overhaul the high-flying South Sea side to maintain their status as the top side in the world. Top of the podium at Twickenham on Sunday will be a great start and BlitzBoks captain Philip Snyman, playing in his 53rd World Series tournament, feels it can be done given the make-up of the BlitzBoks squad.

“We have a number of old hands who have been here before, some exciting younger faces with their energy, and then off course, we have Seabelo Senatla back for the last two tournaments,” Snyman said.

“So, there is a nice balance in the squad.”

Snyman himself is back after missing the Hong Kong and Singapore tournaments, and he believes the BlitzBoks will deliver a very competitive effort.

“Guys like Ruhan [Nel], Justin [Geduld] and Branco [du Preez] missed those tournaments, so like myself, are very keen to get back and contribute. We are delighted to have Seabelo back and watching him at training in the last week or so, he is ready to go. He was a World Sevens Player of the Year and it is clear why, so we have a lot of confidence in his abilities.”

The 31-year-old has worn the captaincy armband for the last two seasons, and with six tournament wins in that time, he knows the right buttons to push to get the best out of his troops.

“One basically has to make sure everyone is focussed on the process and what we want to achieve as a unit. If everyone ticks his own boxes, we can be a very competitive team,” Snyman said.

“It is time to go out and do the business. We want to go out there and play the rugby that we know we can, enjoy the moment and play with a smile on our faces.”

The BlitzBoks will face Samoa, Canada and Russia in Pool D at the London Sevens.

Fiji will face New Zealand, Scotland and Argentina in Pool A.

“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 with South Africa, New Zealand and Australia so we will not rest, we will keep on pushing.”

This weekendโ€™s event marks the 18th year of the London Sevens and will see a special celebration of the English capitalโ€™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.”

(Kick-off time is local)

Saturday, June 2:

Samoa v Canada – 10.30
South Africa v Russia – 10.52
Spain v Wales – 11.14
Australia v Ireland – 11-36
New Zealand v Scotland – 11.58
Fiji v Argentina – 12.20
Kenya v USA – 12.42
England v France – 13.04
Samoa v Russia – 13.36
South Africa v Canada – 13.58
Spain v Ireland – 14.20
Australia v Wales – 14.42
New Zealand v Argentina – 15.04
Fiji v Scotland – 15.26
Kenya v France – 15.48
England v USA – 16.10
Canada v Russia -16.42
South Africa v Samoa – 17.04
Wales v Ireland – 17.26
Australia v Spain – 17.48
Scotland v Argentina – 18.10
Fiji v New Zealand – 18.32
USA v France – 18.54
England v Kenya – 19.16

PV: 400

Preview: London Sevens | Rugby365