PREVIEW: Singapore Sevens
WORLD SEVENS SERIES ROUND EIGHT: The next round of the global circuit kicks off on Saturday, and with the top seven teams only separated by 43 points sevens fanatics are in for a highly competitive weekend.
In Pool A Fiji will be looking to secure their third consecutive win on the World Series this year.
The Pacific Islanders take on Spain and Russia, who both field competitive sides and also invitational side Japan, who recently secured their place on the World Series next year at the Hong Kong Sevens when they defeated Germany 19-14 in the qualifier final.
Pool B includes a strong Kenyan side as they look to go one further in Singapore having placed second in the last two tournaments on the World Series.
USA, France and England make a number of changes across their squads that featured in Hong Kong.
England’s squad includes the return of experienced players such as Tom Mitchell, Dan Norton and James Rodwell to name a few, who recently claimed bronze in the Commonwealth Games.
In Pool C series leaders South Africa make changes, including the return of experienced players such as the Blitzboks all-time leading points scorer Cecil Afrika, having opted to field a younger side in Hong Kong.
Pool C also features 2017 Singapore Sevens champions Canada alongside a competitive Argentina squad. Samoa head coach Gordon Tietjens includes three new players in his team with Jonathan Timo Ah-Sui, Vaa Apelu Maliko and Della Neli, set to make their World Series debuts this weekend.
Pool D features four teams that recently competed in the Commonwealth Games, including gold medallists New Zealand, who will be looking to continue their winning streak in Singapore.
Australia’s new head coach, Tim Walsh names a talent-packed side on his maiden leg of the men’s World Series this year with Scotland and Wales also naming strong squads.
The series leaders, South Africa have only one tournament win this year, they'll be looking to go that one step further this weekend and continue to build a gap at the top of the series table.
"I think this weekend and the other two tournaments left in the series in London and Paris are all going to be important." said the Blitzboks veteran, Kyle Brown
"It's important we maintain the consistency that we have, that's exactly what we spoke about at the beginning of this season but also to go that one step further and get into the finals and finish them well at the end of the day."
A team that have been in excellent form this year is Fiji, they're the only team with more than one win on the series so far (Hamilton, Canada, Hong Kong).
Despite this, they sit second in the table behind South Africa but will take confidence in the fact they've beaten them four out of the six times they faced them in the playoff stages this year. Another tournament win would be huge for their title hopes and they'll know that going into the third last event of the 2018 series.
Kenya have had a pretty successful series reaching the last two cup finals consecutively but ultimately falling short against Fiji on both occasions. However, this tournament has added significance to them, just two years ago they won their first World Rugby Sevens Series event here in Singapore.
"For the guys who were here (in 2016), it was all about brotherhood, playing for the man standing next to you, putting in the hard work and dedication and that's what made the difference," said Kenya's Oscar Ouma
"There's definitely a lot of positive sentiment, the fact that we won our first tournament here brings a lot of good memories and makes it a good place for us to play"
(Kick-off time is local - GMT plus eight hours)
Saturday, April 28
Scotland v Austrlia - 11.00
New Zealand v Wales - 11.22
Argentina v Canada - 11.44
South Africa v Samoa - 12.06
USA v France - 12.30
Kenya v England - 12.52
Spain v Russia - 13.14
Fiji v Spain - 13.36
Scotland v Wales - 14.28
New Zealand v Australia - 14.50
Argentina v Samao - 15.12
South Africa v Canada - 15.34
USA v England - 15.56
Kenya v France - 16.18
Spain v Japan - 16.40
Fiji v Russai - 17.02
Australia v Wales - 17.54
New Zealand v Scotland - 18.16
Canada v Samoa - 18.38
South Africa v Argentina - 19.00
France v England - 19.22
Kenya v USA - 19.44
Russia v Japan - 20.06
Fiji v Spain - 20.28