It’s the eighth tournament in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2019/2020 and it takes place in Vancouver, where Blitzboks are reigning champions, having beaten France in the final last year. Could they sweep up two titles on the trot? Possibly, but it will be tough.
They have been drawn in Pool A alongside Argentina, England and Japan but they face them in a different order: On Saturday night they will play Japan (20:06), then Argentina (23:18) and, early Sunday morning our time, they’ll take on the whingers (02:30).
As we noted on the first page, Blitzboks now lie second on the series log, only four points behind New Zealand and if they can get the American double by winning in Vancouver in the early hours of Monday morning, they could jump to the top of the standings – but only if New Zealand don’t finish second.
As it stands currently, and after seven rounds of the series completed, the kiwis are top of the log on 93 points and Blitzboks are second on 89 points. Next best is last year’s champion team, Fiji, on 72 points. The title race is therefore really between New Zealand and South Africa but with three tournaments to play, Fiji could well get back into the mix.
The islanders did win both London and Paris last year – and those are the two legs to come after this weekend. But if they don’t close the gap on both of the two front runners this weekend, they’ll probably leave themselves with a bit too much to do.
And if both Fiji and New Zealand win their pools in Vancouver, they’ll potentially meet in the semifinal. South Africa, meanwhile, is on the other side of the draw. It’s going to be interesting.