Friday, 14 April 2017
World Rugby, on Friday morning, announced the final squads for the eighth round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series taking place in Singapore on 15 and 16 April.
With less than 24 hours to kick-off, changes have been made to some sides after three intense days of rugby in Hong Kong last weekend.
South Africa has called up Sandile Ngcobo to replace the injured Selvyn Davids in the Blitzbokke squad for the HSBC Singapore Sevens this weekend.
Davids was ruled out of the Singapore7s due to an ankle injury sustained in Hong Kong, where the Springbok7s lost in the final of the event to Fiji last weekend.
Australia has been described as “dark horses” for the Singapore tournament after finishing with bronze in Hong Kong and they will battle it out in Pool C alongside Samoa, Kenya, and Argentina.
Australia has not won a tournament since Tokyo in 2012 and coach Andy Friend said: “This group has continued to improve and last week marked a real turning point for the side, showing that they can beat top four teams when they back themselves. The challenge now is to not rest on our laurels and lift our performance this week in Singapore.”
However Olympic champions Fiji, who claimed their first tournament win of the season last weekend, will have something to say about that. Captain Osea Kolinisau was relieved to get the weight of a tournament win off their shoulders.
“It was great to get one under our belt and it was nice to do it for Gareth (Baber, head coach) He was under the pump back home and people were questioning things. It was good for the players too, especially the new, young players.
“It’s a matter of giving the young players time. Kalione Nasoko (HSBC Player of the Final winner) was playing in his first tournament on the series last week – imagine what he could be if we give him time. So we’re looking forward to the weekend.”
The action gets underway from 11.00 on Saturday in Singapore.
The Pools for the second HSBC Singapore7s are:
PoolA: Fiji, Canada, Russia, Hong Kong
PoolB: South Africa, Egland, France, Japan
PoolC: Australia, Argentina, Kenya, Samoa
PoolD: USA, New Zealand, Scotland, Wales.
Additional image by South China Morning Post (SCMP/Hong Kong)