Thu 14 May 2015 | 05:10

Preview: London Sevens

Preview: London Sevens
Thu 14 May 2015 | 05:10

Preview: London Sevens


After eight rounds of the Sevens World Series, Fiji, South Africa and New Zealand will battle it out for the 16th title in London.

Following their victory at the Glasgow Sevens last weekend, Fiji head into the ninth and final round of the Sevens World Series in first place – with Ben Ryan's side aiming to win their first Series title since 2006.

Not since 2010 has a side other than New Zealand won it, but with Fiji on 147 points and South Africa on 142, the four-time defending champions will have their work cut out to win a 13th World Series title as they sit third on 139.

Having led the series since round two the BlitzBoks failed to make the Cup semifinals for the first time all season in Glasgow, but captain Kyle Brown believes this weekend is about "doing justice to the hard work we've put in".

"I think the most important thing for us to go out and enjoy the rugby that we know we can play," said Brown, who would be lifting a first series title since 2009 should South Africa manage to reclaim top spot.

"Unfortunately I think we put ourselves under too much pressure in Glasgow.

"For me the number one goal is for the players to go out and put a smile back on their face.

"That [reaching every semifinal] was part of our consistency, it's a season that has gone very well. We missed that in Glasgow, but that doesn't define our season, it has been a fantastic season and I am proud of the effort from the guys.

"For us it is just about doing justice to all the work we have put in.

"Obviously it is a dream of every player on the circuit to win a series title, and when you come within touching distance, it is a great place and a phenomenal feeling to have been on top for so long.

"It is disappointing to drop from top spot, but that is not something that will define us."

Fiji, who overtook South Africa for the first time since before Dubai, are joined by Samoa, Canada and Argentina in Pool A, will be buoyed by their performance in Glasgow and are unchanged from that win but face a different type of pressure this weekend.

"We played as a team on the weekend, are we are proud of that," added Fiji captain Osea Kolinisau.

"There is a lot of pressure, but Ben [Ryan] has told us that sometimes pressure is good as it can turn coal into diamonds.

"Taking one game at a time, the reality is we have to focus on our first game.

"It would be really special to win the World Series title, most of the boys think back to the likes of Waisale Serevi 10 years ago, and we will be happy to be counted as some of the players that have lifted the series alongside some of the legends."

All three sides have cemented their place for Sevens' debut in the Olympic Games next year, which was Gordon Tietjens' primary goal.

But with 12 titles under his belt in the 15 years, they won't be lying down easily.

(Kick-off is local time – GMT plus one hour)

Saturday, May 16
South Africa v Portugal – 09.00
United States v France – 09.22
Canada v Samoa – 09.44
Fiji v Argentina – 10.06
Australia v Japan – 10.28
New Zealand v Wales – 10.50
Scotland v Brazil – 11.12
England v Kenya – 11.34
South Africa v France – 12.06
United States v Portugal – 12.28
Canada v Argentina – 12.50
Fiji v Samoa – 13.12
Australia v Wales – 13.34
New Zealand v Japan – 13.56
Scotland v Kenya – 14.48
England v Brazil – 14.40
France v Portugal – 15.12
United States v South Africa – 15.34
Argentina v Samoa – 15.56
Fiji v Canada – 16.18
Wales v Japan – 16.40
New Zealand v Australia – 17.02
Kenya v Brazil – 17.24
England v Scotland – 17.46

Source: @WorldRugby7s

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