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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.