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South Africa Win Dubai

Looking ahead to next week's HSBC Sevens third event in Port Elizabeth, South, Africa, the US Eagles are in Pool A with South Africa, Wales, and Kenya again. The Springboks were winners in Dubai with a victory over Australia.

Fiji lead the nine-country series with 38 points, followed by South Africa at 37, Australia 29, New Zealand 28, and tied for fifth are Samoa and England at 27. Remember, that the top four teams at the end of this year's circuit will receive an automatic bid to the 2016 Olympic games in Brazil.

Australia's 19-points for second place indicate the high points available for a near top finish.  Notice that of the six top teams, four come from the Olympic qualifying region of Oceania, and three (Fiji, Australia, and New Zealand) are in the top four standings.

Assume that two of the four Oceania squads qualify, then the other two would meet in the Oceania tournament, and the loser of that game would go into the final, repechage tournament as the favorite for the 16th and last Olympic place.

It's unwise to speculate about the Eagles' play in the current series. Their chances of making the Olympics will hinge on probably the final match against Canada in the North America qualifier in 2016, and that is a long time into the future. Put to bed any rumor that World Rugby will convince the International Olympic Committee to expand the men's tournament to 20-teams for 2016. Not going to happen.

Round Three begins this Saturday, December 13. Let's go, Eagles.