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Perth SVNS preview

ROUND THREE: The 24 SVNS teams – men and women – are ready to turn up the heat in Round Three of the World Series in Perth this weekend.

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The new-look SVNS competition format means there will be more excitement, jeopardy and drama on the pitch than ever before and fans can look forward to a wealth of entertainment.

Australia’s women will head into the event brimming with confidence having dominated the opening two rounds with victories in Dubai and Cape Town in December.

They lead the standings, six points ahead of France and New Zealand and are set to go for a hattrick of titles on home soil where they will face Canada, Great Britain and South Africa in Pool A.

Rivals and reigning Series and Olympic champions New Zealand will meet the United States, Ireland and Japan in Pool C, while France, Fiji, Brazil and Spain will compete in Pool B of the women’s competition.

The men’s SVNS title race is wide open with Argentina the current standings leader after claiming gold in Cape Town and silver in Dubai.

However South Africa, Fiji, New Zealand, Ireland and hosts Australia all sit within six points of each other, with Australia reaching the final last time out in Cape Town.

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Argentina will take on Dubai champions South Africa in Pool A along with Canada and Spain.

Australia’s men will play Ireland, Great Britain and the United States in an exciting-looking Pool B.

Double Olympic champions Fiji face reigning Series title holders New Zealand as well as France and Samoa in a very competitive Pool C.

Perth as a venue will also bring a fresh outlook to the 2024 HSBC SVNS season.

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However, the BlitzBoks are determined to bounce back from a disappointing outing in Cape Town last month.

Ricardo Duarttee hopes his return will contribute to the BlitzBoks’ effort, the 26-year-old playmaker said.

After being named as World Rugby’s Rookie of the Year for the 2023 season, ‘Tricky Ricky’ missed out in Dubai and Cape Town as the coaching staff decided to go with a fit-again Selvyn Davids and Ronald Brown in the playmaker/sweeper role.

This time around though, and much to his relief, Duarttee was named in the squad to travel to the third tournament of the season.

“It is massive to be back,” said Duarttee.

“It was not nice missing out as I wanted to be part of another full season, but I understand why the coaches opted for a different combination.

“You have to handle disappointments as well, as it’s all part of the bigger meaning of life.

“For me, it was a matter of self-belief, I still believed that I could contribute to the team and worked hard to prove that.

“This weekend will not be about me though, it will be about the team and how we can perform here in Perth.”

Argentina men’s captain Santiago Álvarez said: “We are very happy to have played the first two tournaments very well, but the season is very long and we still have some things to correct.

“We are enjoying it and trying not to feel the pressure of being at the top. This year is more competitive than ever, every team is very tough and we must be very focused and keep doing what we have been doing until here.

“We are very impressed with Perth, with the city, the beach, the sun and the good atmosphere around here and we are looking forward to getting into the stadium this weekend.”

Australia men’s captain Nick Malouf said: “There’s no feeling like being able to represent your country on home soil.

“We’ve had a great week of preparation here in Perth and I know the whole team can’t wait to get out there in front of our supporters on the weekend.”

Australia women’s captain Charlotte Caslick said: “It’s really exciting to be playing in Perth for the first time and it’s been great to see all the support around the city this week.”

“As a team, we’re super excited for the chance to play at home and look forward to seeing plenty of gold in the stands over the weekend.”

New Zealand women’s captain Risi Pouri-Lane said: “The team are really pumped to start this Olympic year. It’s the first time here in Perth and we’re really looking forward to it.

“A lot of the girls have a lot of family here so we know we are going to have heaps of support here and we are looking forward to getting started.”

(Fixtures follow below …)

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Schedule
(Kick-off is Perth time – GMT plus eight hours)

Friday, January 26

Men

South Africa v Canada (12.44)
Argentina v Spain (13.06)
New Zealand v France (14.16)
Fiji v Samoa (14.38)
Ireland v Great Britain (15.51)
Australia v United States (16.14)
South Africa v Spain (18.22)
Argentina v Canada (18.45)
New Zealand v Samoa (19.08)
Fiji v France (19.31)
Ireland v United States (20.50)
Australia v Great Britain (21.15)

Women

Fiji v Brazil (12.00)
France v Spain (12.22)
United States v Ireland (13.32)
New Zealand v Japan (13.54)
Canada v Great Britain (15.05)
Australia v South Africa (15.28)
Fiji v Spain (16.47)
France v Brazil (17.10)
United States v Japan (17.33)
New Zealand v Ireland (17.56)
Canada v South Africa (20.04)
Australia v Great Britain (20.27)

Saturday, January 27

Men

Canada v Spain (12.16)
Argentina v South Africa (12.38)
France v Samoa (13.02)
Fiji v New Zealand (13.25)
Great Britain v United States (13.48)
Australia v Ireland (14.11)

Women

Brazil v Spain (10.00)
France v Fiji (10.22)
Ireland v Japan (10.44)
New Zealand v United States (11.06)
Great Britain v South Africa (11.32)
Australia v Canada (11.54)

  • The quarterfinals get underway from 14.00

 

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