Category Archives: IRB Sevens series

Preview: Wellington Sevens

Fiji last won at the opening tournament at the Gold Coast in Australia. Photo: IRB

Fiji last won at the opening tournament at the Gold Coast in Australia. Photo: IRB

The fourth round of the 2014/15 Sevens World Series gets underway at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington on Friday, with teams vying for all-important series points.
With a third of the series gone, Round Four in Wellington continues the journey for all the participating teams as the road to Rio heats up.

At the end of the nine rounds this year, the top four teams will automatically qualify for the Olympics, with South Africa, Fiji, New Zealand and Australia currently occupying those spots.

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SBW and company at Wellington, 2016?

All Blacks 7s coach Sir Gordon. Photo: IRB

All Blacks 7s coach Sir Gordon. Photo: IRB

All Blacks Sevens head coach Gordon Tietjens has hinted that 2016’s Wellington event could be when the likes of Sonny Bill Williams feature.
Williams, Liam Messam, Ben Smith and Julian Savea are just some of the high profile international names talked about as possible Olympic Games hopefuls.

And with players needing to play four series events to be considered for Rio, Sevens head coach Tietjens admits it’s likely they could appear in Wellington.

“Logically, Wellington is perfect timing,” he told The Dominion Post.

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Filed under HSBC Sevens World Series, IRB Sevens series, Olympics, Rio de Janeiro

Viriviri recalled by Fiji

Recalled Viriviri will add pace to Fiji's side in Wellington. Photo: Planet Rugby

Recalled Viriviri will add pace to Fiji’s side in Wellington. Photo: Planet Rugby

Fiji have recalled reigning World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year Samisoni Viriviri for the Wellington leg of the World Sevens Series.
The Montpellier flyer has not featured for Fiji since moving to the 15-man game, but has struggled for game time in the Top 14.

He links up with a Fijian side that was a little out of sorts in the last two rounds of the World Sevens Series, losing the final of the Plate to the USA last time out in Port Elizabeth.

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ARU unsure about Gold Coast Sevens future

Fiji's Apisai Domolailai goes in for a try against Samoa in the final. Photo: IRB

Fiji’s Apisai Domolailai goes in for a try against Samoa in the final. Photo: IRB

The future of the Gold Coast Sevens rugby tournament remains unclear after another disappointing attendance at the event on the weekend.

Officially 20,546 attended the two-day event in Robina, an underwhelming return when compared to some of the marquee stops on the tour such as Hong Kong, Wellington or London.

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Filed under Fiji Rugby Union, Flying Fijians, IRB, IRB Sevens series

Golden Blitzboks turn attention to series

Branco du Preez and Cecil Afrika celebrate Commonwealth Games gold - Photo: IRB/MSL

Branco du Preez and Cecil Afrika celebrate Commonwealth Games gold – Photo: IRB/MSL

Barely a week after winning a superb gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, South Africa’s men’s Sevens team is set to turn its attentions back to the HSBC Sevens World Series.

After a few days’ rest and recovery the Springbok Sevens assemble back at their base in Stellenbosch on Monday to start preparations ahead the 2014/15 Series, which kicks off on Australia’s Gold Coast on 11-12 October.

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Filed under Blitzboks, Commonwealth Games, IRB Sevens series

Glint of gold keeps Ryan focused on Rio

Ben Ryan and wife Natalie. Photo: The Rugby Paper

Ben Ryan and wife Natalie. Photo: The Rugby Paper

Stepping down from the England Sevens head coach role after six years in charge last August, Ben Ryan was set to take a year out and work as a consultant for UK Sport with the dream of leading Team GB to the Rio Olympics in 2016.

But a Skype interview in the middle of the night in his Teddington home turned his world upside down.

In the space of a few weeks, he packed his bags, took his wife Natalie with him and travelled to the other side of the world to become Fiji Sevens head coach.

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Filed under Fiji Rugby Union, IRB Sevens series, Olympics, Rio de Janeiro, Sevens

Kayange: Playing All Blacks would be a dream

Humphrey Kayange has his eyes set on staring down the Haka. Photo: rwc

Humphrey Kayange has his eyes set on staring down the Haka. Photo: rwc

Kenya star Humphrey Kayange says that qualifying for RWC 2015 in England and facing the All Blacks would be like a dream come true.

By avoiding defeat against Zimbabwe in the final round of Confederation Africaine de Rugby Africa Cup Division 1A matches in Antananarivo on Sunday Kenya would confirm their place at England 2015 – the nation’s first appearance on Rugby’s greatest stage.

The Africa Cup champions will join champions New Zealand, Argentina, Tonga and Georgia in Pool C and for Kayange, a star of the Sevens circuit, qualification would be a career highlight.

“Qualifying would mean an awful lot to Kenya, the team and our fans, who are amazing. It would be like a dream come true to play New Zealand in the Pool stages and face the Haka – it is something that we dream about,” Kayange said.

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Filed under Africa, All Blacks, CAR, International, IRB, IRB Sevens series, Kenya, Simbas

Fiji will surprise world in Rio: Gosper

Fiji celebrates a recent win in Hong Kong during the HSBC IRB series. Photo:

Fiji celebrates a recent win in Hong Kong. Photo: rugbywrapup

Fiji will win its first Olympic Games medal in Rio de Janeiro, says IRB chief executive Brett Gosper.

“Fiji will surprise the world but not us (IRB) if they win their country’s first-ever Olympic medal,” Gosper said when questioned what nations will surprise when rugby sevens will be included for the first time in the biggest global sporting event.

Gosper was fielding questions from rugby followers on Olympic Day on Tuesday and he believes the sport will be a big hit in Rio.

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Filed under Funding, International, IRB, IRB Sevens series, Olympics, Rio de Janeiro, Sevens, Super Rugby, Youth Olympics

Mack is putting something back

Phil Mack attacks against Fiji in their PNC clash last year. Photo: Ottawa Citizen

Phil Mack attacks against Fiji in their PNC clash last year. Photo: Ottawa Citizen

Phil Mack is a small man who has made a big contribution to Canadian rugby – and not just as a star of both formats of the game.

Mack, who won his 21st cap at Fifteens against border rivals USA in the Pacific Nations Cup in Sacramento last night, is also an eight-year veteran of the Rugby Sevens circuit.

Last season he was named in the HSBC Sevens World Series Dream Team and remains his country’s all-time record points scorer with just shy of 900 points from a half-century of appearances, a total that surely would have been more had he not undergone knee surgery two years ago.

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Filed under Canada, Flying Fijians, IRB, IRB Sevens series, USA

Fijian star joins Brive

Benedito Masilevu (R) leads an attack for Fiji. Photo: News Limited

Benedito Masilevu (R) leads an attack for Fiji. Photo: News Limited

Brive have announced the signing of Sevens international finisher Benito Masilevu, who has become the latest Fijian player to arrive in French rugby.

The 24-year-old flyer was the second highest try-scorer on this season’s IRB Sevens World Series, scoring 27 tries over the nine-leg tournament.

Masilevu joins fellow Fijians Sisaro Koyamaibole, Dominiko Waqaniburotu and Malakai Radikadike in their ranks ahead of the 2014/15 campaign.

  • Planet Rugby

 

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Filed under Contract, Europe Fiji players, Fiji Rugby Union, French Club, IRB Sevens series, Personalities, Signings, Top 14