New Zealand, double winners at the Cape Town sevens last Sunday will be looking to repeat the feat when they host the New Zealand Sevens at FMG Stadium Waikato in Hamilton from 25-26 January 2020.
The Black Ferns Sevens will be eager to impress playing in front of a home crowd for the first time in a World Rugby Sevens Series event following impressive back-to-back victories in Dubai and Cape Town.
The pool draw for the women’s event sees the hosts and reigning series champions face Fiji, England and invitational team China in Pool A. Olympic Champions Australia who are placed second in the series standings will take on third-placed USA, Russia and newly promoted Brazil in Pool B.
Pool C will get the action under way with France facing Spain, Canada and Ireland.
Looking ahead to the action in Hamilton Black Ferns Sevens Co-Coach Allan Bunting said:”Last year was a great occasion, but to play in a world series event on home soil for the first time, alongside the men, is something the team has been looking forward to for a long time. It’s going to be incredibly special and we can’t wait,”
The men’s event sees the hosts and current joint series leaders the All Blacks Sevens drawn with
Scotland, USA and Wales in Pool A. Fellow joint series leaders South Africa, who were victorious in Dubai, will take on Kenya, England and invitational team Japan in Pool B.
Third placed France will be looking to keep their strong run of form going as they face Ireland, Canada and Spain in Pool C, while reigning Olympic and Series Champions Fiji will play Argentina, Australia and Samoa in Pool D.
Fiji will be aiming to return to the form that saw them crowned New Zealand Sevens champions in 2019 when they overcame USA in the final. Hosts New Zealand claimed the bronze medal on home soil this year.
All Blacks Sevens Head Coach Clark Laidlaw said: “The players can’t wait to get out on the field at FMG Stadium Waikato and play in front of a big home crowd.”
The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2020 represents the beginning of a new era for rugby sevens with a record six combined men’s and women’s events and the number of women’s tournaments increasing to eight, with the men’s again being contested across 10 rounds.
The series also forms a crucial part of Olympic preparation for the teams as rugby sevens will take centre stage at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games with the competition taking place at the Tokyo Stadium from 27 July-1 August.
Eleven men’s and 10 women’s teams have qualified for Tokyo 2020 so far with last season’s world series acting as the principal route for qualification with the top four teams in the men’s and women’s competitions automatically qualifying. Only three places remain to be confirmed – one men’s and two women’s – with the global repechage tournament in June 2020 determining which teams will occupy the final spots.