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The excitement mounts as the Dubai Sevens, the first of the newly configured HSBC 2015/2016 ten city stops begins this Friday, December 4. Sixteen international sides will compete in four pools as follows:
A: Fiji, Argentina, Canada, Japan
B: South Africa, Scotland, Samoa, Russia
C: New Zealand, USA, France, Portugal
D : England, Australia, Wales, Kenya
Recap Last Year
The first, six place standings from last season’s nine-city event were:
Team Points First Second Third Fourth
Fiji 164 4 0 3 0
SA 154 2 1 3 1
NZ 152 1 4 0 1
Eng. 132 1 1 2 1
Aust. 120 0 2 1 0
USA 108 1 0 0 2
(Samoa achieved one second, and Samoa, Canada, Argentina, and Scotland managed fourth one time each.)
Of interest from last season was Samoa’s second place finish in the opening Australia Gold Coast tournament, followed by a disastrous event outcome where this perennial sevens contender showed none of the success of the past. Also, the All Blacks reached the Cup finals five times but came away with only one title.
Scoring Last Year
- Seabello Senatta (SA) = 47
4. Carlin Isles = 32
10. Perry Baker = 28
- Osea Kolinisau (Fiji) = 312
- Madison Hughes = 296
What to look for this season.
- Which sides will bring in fifteen’s stars? South Africa welcomed speedster Bryan Habana and also other players on their 34-man list. New Zealand brings in Liam Messan and Sonny Bill Williams from their Rugby World Cup team.
- Will Samoa revert to top form?
- Can the USA beat last year’s top four finishers in the pools and playoffs? Can the Eagles score victories tournament after tournament against Argentina, France, Wales, and Scotland?
- Finally, what consequence will the August 2016 Olympics have on this season’s circuit?
(Tomorrow, the women’s Sevens preview)