Preview: London Sevens

Fri, 19 May 2017 02:02
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WORLD SERIES ROUND 10: All 16 teams are set for the last round of the World Sevens Series when Twickenham plays host to the 10th round, just days after South Africa wrapped up the competition with a win in Paris. 

Since Sevens made its debut at the Olympic Games last year, the World Series has received a massive boost with a reach of more than 120 million people this season on social media channels, resulting in a massive 75 million video views - up 25 percent on the previous season.

Participation levels across the globe are now at an all-time high of 8.5 million people (30 percent of which are women and girls) while the sport also benefits from an estimated 300 million fans worldwide. The successful debut of the Sevens at the Olympics piqued the interest of 16.8 million new fans who have now been served up the most exhilirating Sevens Series to date.

The 2016/17 season has also seen the game extend to more than 200 countries and regions, with traffic to World Rugby's Japanese language site increasing by more than 50 percent. Series attendances are also up on last year after nine rounds as Sevens continues to inspire fans of all ages across the globe. 

South Africa may have wrapped up the series in Paris but there is still lots to play for in Twickenham, not least for Scotland who won in London last year and were beaten in the final by South Africa on Sunday.

"I think we had a collective belief among the boys [in Paris last weekend]. There's great experience in that squad now. We weren't chasing results at the weekend and that put us in the ascendency.

"Last year in London [where Scotland claimed their first ever Sevens tournament win] was a great day. It was incredible to be involved with. It would be great to put ourselves in that position again this weekend but we're not getting carried away and focusing on day one at the moment. In this sport you can't look to far ahead so we need to look at our next game," Scotland captain Scott Riddell said. 

South Africa captain Phillip Snyman said that, despite the Series win, his side are very focused on winning yet another tournament this season.

"It was a relief to win the Series and it's good not to have to go into the last tournament needing a win. We set high standards for ourselves and hopefully we can be successful and lift the London Cup trophy as well," Snyman said.

After nine rounds of the series, England captain Tom Mitchell is looking forward to a tournament on home soil.

"The support we've had throughout the whole season has been phenomenal, but finishing the Series in front of a home crowd at Twickenham means so much to the entire squad. The London Sevens is always a unique and exciting tournament which brings a real festival atmosphere to Twickenham and we can't wait to be a part of it," Mitchell said.

USA's Folau Niua will play in his 50th series tournament this weekend while his teammate Perry Baker will be hoping to secure top try scorer for the Series, when it's announced on Sunday evening in London. Baker, who has notched up 49 tries, currently leads England's Dan Norton by four in the chase for top try scorer.

Meanwhile, the nominations for the World Sevens Rookie of the Year have been announced ahead of the last round of the series.

Argentina's Matias Osadczuk, Fiji's Kalione Nasoko and New Zealand's Vilimoni Koroi all impressed in their debut year and the winner will be announced at the awards ceremony that follows the tournament on Sunday evening in Twickenham.

Fixtures:
(All times are local. GMT plus one)

Saturday, May 20

Fiji v Canada - 09.30
New Zealand v Japan - 09.52
France v Argentina - 10.14
Scotland v Russia - 10.36
United States v Wales - 10.58
South Africa v Kenya - 11.20
Samoa v Australia - 11.42
England v Spain - 12.04
Fiji v Japan - 12.36
New Zealand v Canada - 12.58
France v Russia - 13.20
Scotland v Argentina - 13.42
United States v Kenya - 14.04
South Africa v Wales - 14.26
Samoa v Spain - 14.48
England v Australia - 15.10
Canada v Japan - 15.42
New Zealand v Fiji - 16.04
Argentina v Russia - 16.26
Scotland v France - 16.48
Wales v Kenya - 17.10
South Africa v United States - 17.32
Australia v Spain - 17.54
England v Samoa - 18.16

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SEVENS
MORE LOGS
Pool 0
Team P W D L Pts
Spain Sevens 0 0 0 0 20
Korea Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool 00
Team P W D L Pts
Chile 0 0 0 1 10
Papua New Guinea 0 1 0 0 1
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
Scotland Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Canada Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 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
United States Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 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
Hong Kong