Mon, Jan 22, 11:58am by Staff Writer
The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series descends on Australia for the Sydney leg of the season. Both the men’s and women’s competitions will be held across three days of action at the Allianz Stadium, all kicking off on Australia Day.
New Zealand currently lead the Series after being runners up in Dubai and winning the Cape Town leg. They will be looking to continue their fine run of form as they go in search of a first Series title since the 2013-14 season. With a new look squad this year, New Zealand are priced at $3.50 to win the Series outright. In Sydney they will face a tricky pool with Samoa, Russia and Fiji.
Defending Champions South Africa kicked off their defence in Dubai by winning the first leg. Seabelo Senatla continues to impress as he has raced out to an early lead at the top of the try scoring charts. Despite sitting behind New Zealand on the standings, they remain favourites to win the Series at $2.25. Having won the Sydney 7’s last season, South Africa will be confident of returning to form this weekend.
Fiji have dominated Sevens in recent years including two Series victories and the first Olympic Gold medal in Rio. Renowned for their thrilling brand of rugby across all codes, Sevens is the perfect game to witness the skills that Fiji have to offer. Although the start of this season has been a disappointing one for them, failing to reach the Cup Final in either tournament. They stand at $5 to win the Series.
Although they have never won the Series, England have been an ever present in the World Rugby Sevens Series. A disappointing start to the 2017-18 tournament sees England sit fourth on the standings and they will be striving to improve as the season continues. With all-time leading try scorer Dan Norton in scintillating form, England are certainly a threat priced at $7.
A surprise runner’s up spot in Cape Town, signalled the intent of an ever-improving Argentina side. Consistency remains an issue for the South Americans as they look to compete against the established top sides in the Series. If they can repeat their performances in Sydney, then they could be a step closer to an even bigger shock Series victory currently priced at $67.
The hosts will be aiming to kick start their season in the new year as a young squad begins to gel. Australia have struggled in recent years to compete with the best sides in the competition. Although they have steadily been improving to the point where they can’t be ruled out as contenders in Sydney. A 2nd placed finish in their home tournament in 2016 was followed up by 4th place, as they look to secure a first win on Australian soil. They stand at $26 to win the Series. Currently they lead the Series in tries and points scored.
World Rugby Sevens Outright Winner
South Africa $2.25
New Zealand $3.50
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