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

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
SEVENS
MORE LOGS
Pool 0
Team P W D L Pts
Spain Sevens 0 0 0 0 20
Pool 19
Team P W D L Pts
England Sevens 0 0 0 0 19
Pool 20
Team P W D L Pts
Uganda Sevens 0 0 0 0 2
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Fiji Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Canada Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 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
Pool C
Team P W D L Pts
Argentina Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
United States 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
Russia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool
Team P W D L Pts
Wales Sevens