The IRB has announced the pools and schedule of matches for the seventh and penultimate round of the HSBC Sevens World Series, the Emirates Airline London Sevens to be staged at Twickenham Stadium on 21-22 May.
Apart from New Zealand and England, South Africa is the only other side to have won a Cup title this season and in London the Springbok Sevens line up against arch rivals Fiji and the other two European qualifiers, Russia and Portugal in Pool D.
“Fiji is always a tough contest but we have done well against them in our last meeting in Adelaide and we will be aiming for another good performance against them in the pool stages. However, the World Series has evolved to such a degree that any team is capable of beating anyone so you cannot estimate any of the sides in your pool,” explained Springbok Sevens coach Paul Treu.
South Africa got the better of Fiji and England in the knockout stages in Adelaide before they lost a thrilling final to New Zealand.
Tournament hosts England, who won the Dubai Rugby Sevens earlier in the season, currently lie second in the World Series standings and head Pool B with matches against Argentina, USA and France on day one.
England are 13 points behind leaders New Zealand, who head Pool A as top seeds having won four of the six rounds played so far. The eight-time World Series winners face opening ties against Wales, Kenya and regional qualifiers Spain.
Reigning World Series champions Samoa are third seeds and face three tough matches against Canada, Scotland and defending London champions Australia.
“Once again the stage is set for a thrilling climax to the season,” added IRB Sevens Manager, Beth Coalter. “Last year the crowd, the weather and the rugby combined to make Twickenham an electric and truly memorable weekend of Sevens and we can all expect more of the same this year.”
The Springbok Sevens will resume their training programme early next week at their base camp in Stellenbosch.
To view the full Emirates Airline London Sevens tournament schedule, please visit www.irbsevens.com