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 , August 23
New Zealand vs Australia08:35
Argentina vs South Africa20:40
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Currie Cup
Friday , August 22
Pumas vs GriquasPumas vs Griquas Preview
Saturday , August 23
Blue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
Western Province vs Lions17:05
Sharks vs Cheetahs19:10
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Thursday , August 21
North Harbour vs Southland19:35
Friday , August 22
Waikato vs CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Preview
Hawkes Bay vs TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Preview
Saturday , August 23
Northland vs Wellington14:35
Counties Manukau vs Otago16:35
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu vs Auckland14:35
Bay Of Plenty vs Tasman16:35
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato vs Taranaki19:35
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Recent Results
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Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
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Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
South Africa 13 - 6 ArgentinaSouth Africa vs Argentina Report
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Currie Cup
Lions 60 - 19 Eastern Province KingsLions vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Western Province 41 - 17 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
Cheetahs 34 - 27 GriquasCheetahs vs Griquas Report
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Otago 28 - 14 North Harbour
Wellington 25 - 37 WaikatoWellington vs Waikato Report
Canterbury 48 - 9 AucklandCanterbury vs Auckland Report
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Currie Cup
Friday , August 15
Sharks 34 - 17 PumasSharks vs Pumas Report
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Southland 34 - 23 Bay Of Plenty
Thursday , August 14
Taranaki 9 - 9 Counties ManukauTaranaki vs Counties Manukau Report
More ITM Cup results
Currie Cup
Saturday , August 9
Griquas 24 - 31 SharksGriquas vs Sharks Report
Pumas 28 - 21 CheetahsPumas vs Cheetahs Report
Lions 41 - 13 Blue BullsLions vs Blue Bulls Report
Friday , August 8
Eastern Province Kings 16 - 35 Western ProvinceEastern Province Kings vs Western Province Report
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Super Rugby
Saturday , August 2
Waratahs 33 - 32 CrusadersWaratahs vs Crusaders Report
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
Stormers 10 - 34 SharksStormers vs Sharks Report
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