Preview: Las Vegas Sevens

Date published: March 4 2016

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Ahead of the USA Sevens in Las Vegas the final squads of 12 have been named by the 16 head coaches for Round 5 of the series, with more thrills and spills expected.

Heading into the halfway stage of the series after tournaments in Dubai, Cape Town, Wellington and Sydney, this weekend's tournament is set to once again break its own attendance record at the Sam Boyd Stadium.

Some 1,087 tries have been scored in the first four rounds with Fiji, South Africa and New Zealand separated by just points difference at the top of the standings, and the road to Rio contining.

Leaders Fiji make three changes and hand debuts to Josua Vici and Masivesi Dakuwaqa, and South Africa make six with the return of the likes of Cecil Afrika and captain Kyle Brown.

Rugby World Cup star Bryan Habana has also been named in Neil Powell's Blitzboks' side for his third sevens tournament, but first in 12 years, with Juan de Jongh, Francois Hougaard and Cheslin Kolbe among those unavailable to Powell.

Back-to-back champions from Wellington and Sydney, New Zealand make seven changes from the side that won in Sydney, including one late replacement as Liam Messam comes in for his first appearance in six years in place of Sonny Bill Williams, who is being rested. Siona Molia and Josh van Lieshout are set to make their debuts for Gordon Tietjens.

Another debutant is Quade Cooper, who has been given the nod by Andy Friend to make his sevens debut for Australia, runners-up in Sydney. Henry Hutchison is also included having made the headlines on home soil, for his fourth event.

Elsewhere, Kenya are the most experienced side with 344 tournament appearances between them, one ahead of Canada who have 343. Phil Mack is set to make his 50th tournament appearance for next week's hosts and is also just 44 points of reaching 1,000.

Pools

Pool A: New Zealand, Kenya, Portugal, Russia
Pool B: Australia, England, Scotland, Japan
Pool C: Fiji, Argentina, Samoa, France
Pool D: South Africa, USA, Canada, Wales

Standings

1) Fiji – 69 points
2) South Africa – 69
3) New Zealand – 69
4) Australia – 54
5) Argentina – 54
6) England – 51
7) USA – 49
8) Kenya – 42
9) France – 29
10) Samoa – 28
11) Scotland – 27
12) Canada – 21
13) Wales – 14
14) Japan – 8
15) Portugal – 8
16) Russia – 7
17) Zimbabwe – 1

With thanks to the World Rugby Sevens website

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