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New Zealand and Australia Head Rankings Race for RWC Sevens 2013

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By IRB Media Unit

Fresh from their fourth-successive victory at the Port Elizabeth round of the HSBC Sevens World Series, New Zealand’s men now sit in pole position in the seedings for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 in Moscow.

In the women’s seedings, defending champions Australia lead the way, closely followed by England, Canada and Spain.

The RWC Sevens 2013 Pool Allocation Draw will take place at Petroff Palace, Moscow, on February 28. A banded draw for both the men's and women's qualified teams will be used for the tournament to be played in the Russian capital from June 28-30.

Rugby World Cup Limited Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “With two rounds of the HSBC Sevens World Series and one in the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series still to go, there are still opportunities for teams to switch bands before the Pool Allocation Draw takes place in Moscow at the end of next month.”

“Bringing RWC Sevens 2013 to Russia is an exciting development for the Game as we continue our commitment to promote Rugby beyond its traditional heartlands. Moscow is a fascinating and vibrant city that is used to putting on world-class events so we expect spectators from overseas as well as from within Russia will enjoy every minute of their experience.”

Men's Rugby World Cup Sevens rankings after Port Elizabeth round of the HSBC Sevens World Series

1. New Zealand 393
2. Fiji 327
3. South Africa 306
4. Samoa 292
5. England 277
6. Australia 211
7. Wales 184
8. Argentina 166
9. France 131
10. Kenya 93
11. Scotland 69
12. USA 68
13. Canada 56
14. Portugal 47
15. Spain 32
16. Russia 19
17. Tonga 17
18. Zimbabwe 12
19. Japan 10
20. Hong Kong 5
21. Georgia 0
22. Tunisia 0
23. Philippines 0
24. S American Q* 0

If the Pool Allocation Draw took place today (January 25), below would be the band seeding. However, there is plenty of time for the situation to change before February 28.

The four bands of six for the men, after Port Elizabeth, are as follows:
Band 1: New Zealand, Fiji, South Africa, Samoa, England, Australia
Band 2: Wales, Argentina, France, Kenya, Scotland, USA
Band 3: Canada, Portugal, Spain, Russia, Tonga, Zimbabwe
Band 4: Japan, Hong Kong, Georgia, Tunisia, Philippines, South American Qualifier

Women's Rugby World Cup Sevens rankings after Dubai round of the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series

1. Australia 30
2. England 28
3. Canada 28
4. Spain 28
5. South Africa 24
6. New Zealand 20
7. USA 18
8. Netherlands 16
9. Russia 16
10. China 10
11. France 6
12. Japan 2
13. Tunisia 0
14. Ireland 0
15. Fiji 0
16. S America Q* 0

The four bands of four for the women, after Dubai, are as follows:
Band 1: Australia, England, Canada, Spain
Band 2: South Africa, New Zealand, USA, Netherlands
Band 3: Russia, China, France, Japan
Band 4: Tunisia, Ireland, Fiji, South American Qualifier

The men’s seeding takes into account the past two full HSBC Seven World Series seasons as well as the five events in the current season up to the date of the Pool Allocation Draw. The IRB Women's Sevens Challenge Cup tournaments held last year provided international Rugby Sevens competition for the first time since RWC Sevens 2009 and this, together with the first two rounds of the inaugural IRB Women's Sevens World Series, has enabled the current playing strength of teams to be used to band teams.

For the men's competition, teams will be divided into six pools of four and play in a round-robin format over the first two days before progressing to the knockout phase on the final day. The women's teams will be split into four pools of four and play in a round-robin format over the first day of their competition (June 29) before progressing to the knockout phase on the final day. This will provide a total of 100 Sevens matches over the three days.

The 24 men’s teams and 16 women’s teams have nearly all been determined with only the South America region yet to hold its qualifying tournament. That event will take place from February 23-24 in Rio de Janeiro, the location for Rugby’s historic return to the Olympic Games programme in 2016.



Note to editors regarding the women’s qualification process:

The international tournament structure for women’s Rugby Sevens continues to develop quickly. However, since the inaugural Women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens 2009, the only formal IRB international Sevens competitions for women have been the three IRB Women's Sevens Challenge Cup events in 2011/12 and the new 2012/13 four-tournament IRB Women's Sevens World Series.

As a result, the RWCL Board has agreed that the rankings into the four Women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 Pool Allocation Draw bands will be based on the combined results from the IRB Women's Sevens Challenge Cup events in 2011/12 and 2012/13 Women’s Sevens World Series (to reward consistency in performance). This rewards recent performances, avoids anomalies in RWC Sevens 2009 results against current relative strengths and reflects systems used for other RWC tournaments.

The positions teams attained in each of the Challenge Cup tournaments have been assigned tournament points and then totalled to ascertain their final positions. These final positions represent one-third of the final rankings with the points gained in Dubai and Houston Women’s Sevens World Series tournaments representing another one-third each.

*The South American qualification tournament for both men and women takes place in Rio de Janeiro on 23-24 February.

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