Preview: Hong Kong Sevens

Date published: April 7 2016

Following a month's break, the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series returns in style on Friday for Round Seven, which takes place in Hong Kong.

The three-day showpiece will see Fiji look to defend their title and build a lead on the current series table that is a three-horse race.

Fiji (106) are ahead of South Africa (105) and New Zealand (104) with the latter having claimed a much-needed win at the Vancouver Sevens. Behind them are Australia (90) with USA (76) now an outside bet after dropping points at BC Place. They're not to be taken lightly though.

Star names from fifteens rugby will be in attendance in Hong Kong and they include Sonny Bill Williams, Liam Messam, Virimi Vakatawa and Nick Cummins, while England call in Ollie Lindsay-Hague to their squad, a player who made his name on the sevens circuit a few years ago.

One casualty to the ever-growing list of stars joining the sevens game is Carlin Isles, who misses out due to the emergence of former New England Patriots Super Bowl winner, Nate Ebner. His performance this weekend for Mike Friday's men is sure to attract plenty of attention.

Several other players might have an eye on personal milestones in Hong Kong as England finisher Dan Norton is just five tries short of 200 and eleven shy of 1000 points on the series. Australia captain Ed Jenkins and Fiji star Osea Kolinisau go into the tournament on 99 tries.

It is not just the World Sevens Series that will be played out at Hong Kong Stadium this weekend as the nations battling to make the top table face off in the World Series Qualifier. Brazil, Cayman Islands, Chile, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Papua New Guinea, Spain, Tonga and Zimbabwe are involved, with that tournament being played alongside the main event as fans are treated to a sevens feast.

Pools for Hong Kong Sevens

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

World Series Qualifier

Pool E: Zimbabwe, Hong Kong, Germany, Cayman Islands
Pool F: Spain, Chile, Papua New Guinea, Mexico
Pool G: Japan, Tonga, Brazil, Morocco