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
Super Rugby
Saturday , August 2
Waratahs vs Crusaders19:40
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
All times are local
Super Rugby
Saturday , July 26
Crusaders 38 - 6 SharksCrusaders vs Sharks Report
Waratahs 26 - 8 BrumbiesWaratahs vs Brumbies Report
Saturday , July 19
Brumbies 32 - 30 ChiefsBrumbies vs Chiefs Report
Sharks 31 - 27 HighlandersSharks vs Highlanders Report
Saturday , July 12
Crusaders 34 - 8 HighlandersCrusaders vs Highlanders Report
Reds 3 - 34 WaratahsReds vs Waratahs Report
Lions 60 - 25 CheetahsLions vs Cheetahs Report
Stormers 10 - 34 SharksStormers vs Sharks Report
Friday , July 11
Blues 8 - 11 ChiefsBlues vs Chiefs Report
Brumbies 47 - 25 Western ForceBrumbies vs Western Force Report
Bulls 40 - 7 Melbourne RebelsBulls vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Sunday , July 6
Waratahs 44 - 16 HighlandersWaratahs vs Highlanders Report
Saturday , July 5
Crusaders 21 - 13 BluesCrusaders vs Blues Report
Western Force 30 - 20 RedsWestern Force vs Reds Report
Stormers 16 - 0 BullsStormers vs Bulls Report
Cheetahs 27 - 20 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
Friday , July 4
Chiefs 24 - 16 HurricanesChiefs vs Hurricanes Report
Lions 34 - 17 Melbourne RebelsLions vs Melbourne Rebels Report
More Super Rugby results
International Match
Saturday , June 28
South Africa 55 - 6 ScotlandSouth Africa vs Scotland Report
More International Match results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 16 - 9 CrusadersHurricanes vs Crusaders Report
Waratahs 39 - 8 BrumbiesWaratahs vs Brumbies Report
Western Force 14 - 40 BluesWestern Force vs Blues Report
Friday , June 27
Highlanders 29 - 25 ChiefsHighlanders vs Chiefs Report
Melbourne Rebels 20 - 36 RedsMelbourne Rebels vs Reds Report
More Super Rugby results
International Match
Saturday , June 21
Australia 39 - 13 FranceAustralia vs France Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
5Leicester Tigers00