News Article

New Zealand Sevens blow as squads named for Hong Kong

  
Printable Version Printable Version    Recommend Recommend    Email to a friend Email to a friend
  
Share   
  

3/22/2012
By IRB Media Unit


- Series leaders dealt late injury blow
- Second tier to battle for core team places
- Hong Kong tournament set for biggest ever TV audience

On the eve of the Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, the coaches of all 24 national teams have declared their final squads of 12 players, with New Zealand dealt a late injury blow.

The HSBC Sevens World Series leaders and defending Hong Kong champions have lost vice-captain Lote Raikabula, who has been replaced by Series debutant Jack Wilson.

Raikabula becomes the fourth Series regular to miss the Hong Kong showpiece for the kiwis, joining this season's leading try-scorer, Frank Halai, forward Solomon King and utility back Toby Arnold on the list of players unavailable to coach Gordon Tietjens.

FULL SQUAD DETAILS - ALL 24 TEAMS >>
WORLD SERIES STANDINGS >>

This year's Hong Kong showpiece features a changed format, which is set to provide the most competitive ever tournament. While the current 12 core teams compete in pools A, B and C for the famous Hong Kong title, 12 other nations will start in Pools D, E and F and battle it out for three additional core team berths to compete on each round of next year's Series.

England Sevens coach, Ben Ryan commented: "Hong Kong could be a tipping point. If New Zealand wins that could be it, but if anyone below them wins then that changes everything. You have one bad tournament and you could go from first to sixth without even blinking. It will be a thrilling weekend."

HONG KONG DUAL COMPETITION - FORMAT EXPLAINED >>

Pool Profiles - Cup competition (current core teams)

Pool A - SAM, ENG, ARG, KEN
Pool B - NZL, RSA, WAL, USA
Pool C - FJI, AUS, FRA, SCO

Pool Profiles - Core team qualifier

Pool D - TON, URU, HKG, CHN
Pool E - CAN, ESP, ZIM, PHI
Pool F - POR, RUS, JPN, GUY

The Hong Kong event is set to go out to its largest ever television audience, 18 international broadcasters airing pictures in 150 countries, generating 235 hours of live match coverage, a figure set to at least double with delayed live, repeats and highlights.

WHERE CAN I WATCH THE SEVENS >>

Aussie skippers claim Sevens player honours at 2015 John Eales Medal
=Qantas Australian Sevens captains Ed Jenkins and Sharni Williams have been named Men’s and Women’s Player of the Year at the 2015 John Eales Medal in Sydney. Read full article...
Behind-the-scenes with Sevens star Charlotte Caslick
Women's World Sevens Player of the Year nominee Charlotte Caslick gave the Rugby community a unique insight into her game-day preparations ahead of the recent exhibition clash against Japan at ANZ Stadium. Read full article...
2015-16 HSBC World Rugby Sevens referees announced
With excitement building ahead of rugby sevens’ Olympic Games debut at Rio 2016, World Rugby has announced that three Australian referees have been selected to officiate during the 2015-16 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
Read full article...