BlitzBokke: With love from Russia

Thu, 28 Feb 2013 12:19
Large 7s world cup trophies Large waisale serevi with melrose Large 7s world cup men s draw Large 7s world cup mascot

The International Rugby Board on Thursday unveiled the draw for what is set to be a fiercely-contested Sevens World Cup in Moscow.

The International Rugby Board on Thursday unveiled the draw for what is set to be a fiercely-contested Sevens World Cup in Moscow.

Defending champions Wales will clash with Sevens specialists Fiji in the group stages.

Perennial favourites New Zealand should have few problems safely negotiating their Pool D against the United States, Canada and Georgia.

The six men's groups will also pit France against Australia.

Hosts Russia is in a tough Pool B against heavyweights South Africa, Japan and Scotland.

IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset said that the June 28 to 30 event would "capture the hearts" of millions with one of the world's "most exciting sporting spectacles".

The World Cup will be the last edition before Rugby Sevens becomes a full Olympic sport at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where a host of top stars are expected to turn to the shorter version of the game.

"The Russian people love Olympic sports ... I am confident that Moscow 2013 will be a resounding success," Lapasset said at the glitzy draw in Moscow attended by Russian sports stars and even cosmonauts.

The tournament, by far the biggest rugby event ever hosted by Russia, will be played at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow, the centrepiece of the 1980 Moscow Olympics and the expected venue of the football World Cup final in 2018.

The competition will also give a huge boost to rugby in Russia, whose sporting traditions give it great potential to become a big power but where the game is only just starting to make waves.

Wales were the shock winners of the last edition of the Rugby Sevens World Cup in Dubai in 2009, when the four favourites were knocked out in the quarter-finals -- one of the attractions of the shortened version of rugby.

Fiji, winners of the Sevens World Cup in 1997 and 2005, will always be fair bet given the importance they stake on Sevens, but Waisale Serevi, for many the greatest Sevens player ever, said there were no longer any guarantees in a sport where the gaps between the teams have become ever narrower.

"There are no longer 'big teams' and 'small teams' in Sevens, the margin is closing between all the teams," the Fijian legend said.

As well as the established northern hemisphere six nations and southern hemisphere four nations, Sevens brings a host of countries less seen in 15-aside with Kenya in particular becoming a global force in recent years.

One side hoping to spring a surprise will be the Philippines, a country that will not only be making its first appearance in a rugby World Cup but a world cup in any team sport.

Kenya and the Philippines have been drawn together in a potentially exciting group that also includes Zimbabwe and Samoa.

Pools:
Pool A: Australia, Spain, France, Tunisia
Pool B: South Africa, Scotland, Russia, Japan
Pool C: Samoa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Philippines
Pool D: New Zealand, USA, Canada, Georgia
Pool E: Fiji, Wales, Tonga, Uruguay
Pool F: England, Argentina, Portugal, Hong Kong

AFP

Hurricanes vs Highlanders
sast: 09h35 | local: 19h35

  • 17 | 7
LIVE
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 27 May 2016
Waratahs v Chiefs 09h40 Sydney
Boland v Eagles 13h00 Wellington
Free State Cheetahs v Pumas 13h00 Bloemfontein
Border v Falcons 17h00 East London
Kings v Jaguares 17h00 Ascoli Piceno
Sat, 28 May 2016
Blues v Crusaders 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Sunwolves 09h40 Canberra
Western Province v Griquas 10h15 Newlands
Blue Bulls v Leopards 12h15 Loftus Versfeld
Golden Lions v EP Kings 13h00 Johannesburg
Stormers v Cheetahs 13h00 DHL Newlands
Namibia v Griffons 13h00 Windhoek
Saracens v Exeter Chiefs 14h00 London
Bulls v Lions 15h05 Loftus Versfeld
Connacht v Leinster 16h30 Edinburgh
Sun, 29 May 2016
Rebels v Force 06h05 Melbourne
England v Wales 14h00 London
SEVENS
MORE LOGS
Pool 00
Team P W D L Pts
Brazil 7s 0 0 0 0 1
Korea Sevens 0 0 0 0 10
Pool 19
Team P W D L Pts
England Sevens 0 0 0 0 19
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Fiji Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Canada Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Australia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
France Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Japan Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool C
Team P W D L Pts
Argentina Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
United States Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Russia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool D
Team P W D L Pts
South Africa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Kenya Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Portugal Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool
Team P W D L Pts
Wales Sevens
Zimbabwe 7s