Planet Rugby

Preview: London Sevens

08th May 2014 22:34


Samisoni Viriviri fiji hong kong sevens

Top scorer: Samisoni Viriviri

The final round of this season's IRB Sevens World Series takes place at Twickenham this weekend, with New Zealand destined for the title.

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

Sir Gordon Tietjiens' men are on track for their fourth World Series title in a row, bar a disaster.

Even if New Zealand were to only win the Shield - to pick up three points - South Africa would have to win the whole tournament and accumulate 22 points for the two teams to finish level on 161.

They are also arriving in perfect form, having won the last two tournaments in Hong Kong and Scotland to go with titles in New Zealand and Australia. Their worst tournament was finishing fourth in Japan.

There would appear therefore to be little stopping them. Tim Mikkelson, last year's Player of the Season, is up for the award again having racked up 31 tries - although that's some way behind Samisoni Viriviri's 48.

Fiji's win in Dubai looked set to kickstart their season but their other success in Japan aside there have been three 3rd placed finishes in the last four tournaments. Ben Ryan will return to Twickenham for the first time since his time with England came to an end and his journey with Fiji began. They are obviously contenders.

South Africa are too, but the Blitzbokke have been hit by injuries to three key players in captain Kyle Brown - also nominated - along with Stephen Dippenaar and Cecil Afrika.

On their day with the right squad South Africa are world beaters, but after back-to-back triumphs in Port Elizabeth and Las Vegas two second-placed finishes have followed along with little else. Their performance in Scotland was their worst of the season, only reaching the semi-finals of the Plate.

England will be there or thereabouts on home soil, having brought back the experience of Chris Cracknell, Christian Lewis-Pratt and Mat Turner. Tom Mitchell - the tournament's top points scorer, captain and final nominee - has been outstanding all season.

You would expect one of those four to lift the trophy on Sunday, but don't rule out Australia or Canada. Seeing Phil Mack's men reach the final in Glasgow was a landmark moment for the competition - proof that global growth in this form of the game can truly happen.

Forthcoming Fixtures
All times are local
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 6
New Zealand vs Argentina08:35
Australia vs South Africa11:05
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Currie Cup
Friday , September 5
Western Province vs Eastern Province Kings19:10
Saturday , September 6
Cheetahs vs Pumas15:00
Sharks vs Griquas17:05
Blue Bulls vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
Wednesday, September 3
Manawatu vs Bay Of Plenty19:35
Thursday , September 4
Otago vs Canterbury19:35
Friday , September 5
Tasman vs Waikato18:05
Northland vs Hawkes Bay20:05
Saturday , September 6
Auckland vs Wellington14:35
Taranaki vs Southland06:35
Sunday , September 7
Manawatu vs Counties Manukau14:35
Bay Of Plenty vs North Harbour16:35
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Recent Results
All times are local
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki 41 - 3 Bay Of PlentyTaranaki vs Bay Of Plenty Report
Auckland 16 - 16 TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Report
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Currie Cup
Saturday , August 30
Griquas 25 - 36 CheetahsGriquas vs Cheetahs Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 41 LionsEastern Province Kings vs Lions Report
Blue Bulls 18 - 23 Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
Counties Manukau 21 - 27 Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Report
Southland 22 - 33 Otago
North Harbour 16 - 22 WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Report
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Currie Cup
Friday , August 29
Pumas 32 - 22 SharksPumas vs Sharks Report
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Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Currie Cup
Blue Bulls 30 - 25 Eastern Province KingsBlue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Western Province 27 - 14 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
Sharks 19 - 16 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
Counties Manukau 29 - 25 OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Report
More ITM Cup results
Currie Cup
Friday , August 22
Pumas 33 - 15 GriquasPumas vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
More ITM Cup results
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