Preview: London Sevens

Date published: May 19 2016

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Fiji will be hoping to secure the World Rugby Sevens Series title this weekend when the season wraps up in London before the Olympics.

Heading into the final stop of the Series on 166 points, 14 ahead of their closest challenger South Africa, Ben Ryan’s charges know that booking Cup qualification on Saturday would be enough to seal the trophy. Few would argue they don’t deserve that too after a fine year.

They will be without Leone Nakarawa due to his club commitments with Glasgow but Fiji could possibly name marquee arrival, NFL star Jarryd Hayne. Argentina are another bringing in a huge name in the shape of Puma Juan Imhoff, so fans are set for another thrilling event.

There’s no doubt this season’s Series has been a success with new stops added like Vancouver, Cape Town, Paris, Singapore and Sydney.

The competition has been fierce with five separate winners in the nine tournaments to date (including Kenya’s first-ever series triumph).

Attendances have increased since Sevens was confirmed on the Olympic programme in 2009. 2014/15’s World Series, which doubled as Olympic qualification, was attended by more than 560,000 fans, but with exciting new destinations added, the high-octane drama and festival atmosphere has proven a hit with fans across all 10 venues with more than 640,000 attending across the 2015/16 series so far.

World Rugby Chief Executive Brett Gosper said: “From the stadium to the sofa, rugby sevens continues to reach, engage and inspire new audiences in record numbers and these strong figures really show the excitement across the global rugby family ahead of the Olympic Games.

“The HSBC London Sevens promises to be a fitting climax to what has been the most competitive series ever and while there is a title to be decided between the teams at the top of the standings, the likes of Samoa, Argentina, Kenya, France and USA have all demonstrated that they are in great form as we enter the final straight to Rio 2016. It is going to be compelling viewing.”

Standings

Fiji 166
South Africa 152
New Zealand 145
Australia 127
Argentina 107
USA 100
Kenya 95
Samoa 84
England 82
France 75
Scotland 65
Wales 46
Canada 35
Russia 26
Japan 21
Portugal 20
Brazil 2
Zimbabwe 1
South Korea 1

London Pools

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

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