All teams looking to finish with a bang in London finale

London 7s
by Jill Scanlon

The London Sevens tournament is the final round of the2016/2017 HSBC World Series and takes place at Twickenham – rugby's spiritual home.

While South Africa has well and truly secured the top prize, it's the battle for second between Olympic champions Fiji and hometown heroes England that will attract the most attention.

Just three points separate the two and while this battle will not be for the main gong it is still passionately sought after at the end of a long and hard-fought series.

For other teams it will not be so much about a move in the standings but finishing their season on a high.


POOL A 

South Africa, USA, Wales, Kenya

South Africa will be flying high after the tournament win in Paris which sealed the series title.

Buoyed by confidence, the Blitzboks will be keen to end the season with a sixth cup victory to put an exclamation mark on the championship title.

The USA finished outside the top four in Paris for the first time in five tournaments and will be keen to return to a higher placing.

Wales will want to improve on its first day form from Paris where it lost two from three, while Kenya is as ever, unpredictable.

POOL B

Scotland, France, Argentina, Russia

Scotland has rediscovered its mojo and will be desperate to underline the form shown last weekend and go back-to-back from its 2016 London Sevens victory.

France will be working hard to send Julien Candelon out on a high while Argentina, having showed its best form of the series taking out the Challenge Trophy in Paris, will take that confidence with it onto the field at Twickenham.

Russia must perform reasonably well to hold on to its spot in the core group and foil Japanese hopes of avoiding relegation.

POOL C

New Zealand, Fiji, Canada, Japan

New Zealand has finished fourth in the series no matter the results in London, but will have taken some confidence from its bronze medal finish in Paris.

Fiji needs to return to its Hong Kong form having stumbled badly in Singapore and Paris. It will be desperate to secure that second place in the standings and salvage some pride after a history-making 2016.

Japan is fighting for survival and though the chance of making the quarter-finals from this group is slim, but they have to give it everything in order to leapfrog Russia and retain core status.

Canada needs to reclaim Singapore form now that it has proven itself capable of the winning the big prize.

POOL D

England, Samoa, Australia, Spain

England will have a tough day one if Samoa repeats its form of last weekend and Australia gets back to its best form of the season, but the men of the Red Rose have the hometown advantage and will leverage that to its fullest.

The young Aussie team has impressed many of the experts and fans alike this season and will be looking to regain the giant-killing form which emerged mid-series.

But they must put the dislocated performance of Paris behind them to reach the quarter finals and have a chance at the business end of day two.

Spain will be all the better for the opportunity to play at this level ahead of its first full season in the core group in 2018.

FIXTURE

HSBC Sevens World Series, London  

Pool Round - Saturday May 13

Australia vs Samoa 8.42pm AEST

Australia vs England Sunday 12.10am AEST

Australia vs Spain  Sunday 2.54am AEST

 LIVE coverage on Fox Sports Ch507 begins 6.20pm – 4.00am

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