The pools and match schedule have been announced for the third event of the 2010/11 HSBC Sevens World Series, on 4-5 February 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand.
Once again, the NZI Sevens kicks off the World Series action in the new year and will be played at the city’s famous Westpac Stadium.
After the first two events in Dubai and South Africa, England lead the World Series with 44 points from New Zealand (40), Samoa (36) and Fiji (32) with South Africa lying fifth on 24.
As a result of their strong start – including winning the Cup title in Dubai and reaching the final in South Africa – England top the seeds in Wellington and start in Pool A with matches against Wales, USA and the Cook Islands.
New Zealand’s title defence in George has helped them to second in the standings and they top Pool B with matches against Argentina, Scotland and Papua New Guinea.
Reigning World Series champions Samoa and defending NZI Sevens champions Fiji have both reached two Cup semi finals this season and top Pools C and D respectively.
Samoa face three tough matches in Pool C against Commonwealth Games silver medallists Australia, Kenya and the ever dangerous Tongans, while Fiji will take on South Africa – twice Plate winners this season – France and Canada in Pool D.
“We have enjoyed a superb start to the new HSBC Sevens World Series with two different winners, many teams competitive and sell-out crowds in both Dubai and George,” said IRB Tournament Manager, Beth Coalter.
“It all perfectly sets up the Wellington event, which is sure to be another packed stadium with the tickets having sold out so quickly again.
“The core teams have a few weeks now to go home and recharge the batteries before meeting up again and also taking on the local qualifiers from Oceania, Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Cook Islands, who are always strong.”
After the Wellington tournament, the eight-event HSBC Sevens World Series will travel on to Las Vegas in the USA before also visiting Hong Kong, Australia, England and Scotland, climaxing at Murrayfield on 28-29 May 2011.
Papua New Guinea