Blitzbokke face formidable World Series challenge on home soil

Dec 3 • Blitz Bokke, General News, International, National, Sevens Rugby, Sevens World Series • 3384 Views • Comments Off on Blitzbokke face formidable World Series challenge on home soil

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Mark Richards (right) gets congratulated after scoring against Canada during lats years Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens. Photo by Getty Images.

Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens host South Africa were placed in a tough pool following the official tournament draw by the IRB on Saturday evening in Dubai. Round three of the HSBC Sevens World Series takes place next weekend, 8 and 9 December, in Port Elizabeth.

The Springbok Sevens will face Dubai winners Samoa, France and Australia in Pool A in a very competitive race for the two group qualification spots on offer and passage to the Cup quarterfinals.

New Zealand, the defending South Africa tournament champions who lost to Samoa in the Dubai final, are the top-ranked side in Pool B which also include Fiji, Scotland England.

Kenya head Pool C and were drawn alongside Wales, Argentina and Spain. Dubai surprise package Portugal, Canada, the United States and Zimbabwe complete the final grouping in Pool D.

New Zealand currently lead the World Series standings on 38 points after two rounds, followed by Fiji, Kenya, Samoa (all on 32), France (27) and South Africa (24).

The first few teams will arrive today at approximately 9.20pm in Port Elizabeth from Johannesburg while the second group, including home team South Africa, are expected to land at 10.20pm in the Friendly City.

The confirmed pools for the Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens are:

Pool A: Samoa, France, South Africa, Australia

Pool B: New Zealand, Fiji, Scotland, England

Pool C: Kenya, Wales, Argentina, Spain

Pool D: Portugal, Canada, United Stated, Zimbabwe

The HSBC Sevens World Series Standings after two rounds are:

  1. New Zealand             38 points
  2. Fiji                                  32

Kenya                           32

Samoa                          32

  1. France                           27
  2. South Africa                24
  3. Argentina                    21
  4. Wales                            18
  5. Canada                          17

10. Australia                       11

       Portugal                        11

12. England                         10

       Spain                              10

Tickets for “Rugby’s Biggest Party” at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium are available from all Computicket outlets and online at www.computicket.com.

 

About the HSBC Sevens World Series

The HSBC Sevens World Series, previously known as the IRB Sevens World Series, consists of nine tournaments held around the world between October and May.

National Sevens teams compete for World Series points at each round, with winners in the Cup, Plate, Bowl and Shield crowned at each location.

An overall HSBC Sevens World Series champion is crowned at the end of the season based on points accumulated throughout the nine events.

There are 15 ‘core’ teams who participate at each round of the Series and, starting from 2012/13 there is to be promotion and relegation from this status, with a pre-qualifier in Hong Kong and a final Series core team qualification event held in London, alongside the final round of the HSBC Sevens World Series.

The 2011/12 World Series winners and reigning champions are New Zealand, who have won the Series 10 times in all. The other Series winners have been Fiji (2005/06), South Africa (2008/09) and Samoa (2009/10).

Sevens Broadcast

For the 2011/12 Series the IRB announced figures confirming another record global audience.

 

The World Series accumulated a record 4,283 hours of total airtime – a 17 per cent increase on the previous season – with a dramatic uplift in live coverage, which rose 35 per cent to 1,565 hours.

Television broadcast coverage reached a total of 152 territories across six continents, with 31 broadcasters showing action from the Series.

Programming from the season of Sevens was carried in 16 languages and reached 374 million homes, with an estimated global audience of 850 million people.

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