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The Paris 7s, the ninth stop on the HSBC World Rugby circuit, is a month away, but for all intents and purposes, this year’s championship has already been decided from the earlier eight round results. South Africa, with 158 points, lead Fiji in second place by 25-points, a margin that would be difficult to surmount with two contests (Paris and London) remaining. Fiji, last year’s winners, and gold medalists in Rio, would need gold or silver placements in both tournaments with concurrent low outcomes for the Blitzboks, an unlikely possibility. The USA stand in fifth place with 101 points, trailing number four, New Zealand, by nine points.
The chief surprise of the first eight tournaments has been Singapore, which featured an all North American final; Canada against the USA. The Canadians won their first ever sevens’ tournament. The Dream Team from Singapore listed three Eagles: Stephen Tomasin, Perry Baker, and Danny Barrett, along with two Canadians, Nathan Hirayama and Justin Douglas, Fiji’s Waisea Nacuqu, and, finally, Simon Kennewell from Australia.
On May 13 and May 14, Paris will host its second tournament at Stade Jean Bouin located in the southwestern area of the city near the Roland Garros Tennis complex. There is no Fan Festival, no event merchandise on sale, and minimal food and drink offered. The French flag, the Tricolor, was handed out free last year. (See photo).
In Paris, the USA will lead Pool B, playing New Zealand, Wales, and Argentina.
Last year, unheralded Samoa, behind 24-0 in the cup final with Fiji, pulled off a second half miracle to defeat their Pacific Island rival.