Warriors Name Strong Squad for Rugby 7s

Aviva Premiership side the Worcester Warriors has named a very strong squad for their upcoming Rugby 7s assignment. The Warriors will be heading into the regional heat of the JP Morgan Premiership Rugby 7s scheduled to be held on Thursday, the 26th of July in bullish mood after Richard Hill, the head coach of the team named the strongest available squad at his disposal for the tournament.

David Lemi, the captain of the Samoan national rugby team as well as Josh Matavesi, a Fijian international, both of whom have been recruited in the summer by The Warriors have made it to the squad.

The 12 man squad that will face fellow Aviva Premiership sides the Exeter Chiefs, Bath Rugby and Gloucester Rugby at the popular pre-season Rugby 7s tournament will also feature Jake Abbot, who will captain the side as well as Josh Drauniniu, a former international for the England Sevens. Errie Claassens, Neil Best have also made the squad along with Andy Short, a former Under-20 star for the England team, who has recovered from injury.

According to Hill, the team he has picked is a mixture of youth and experience and features players who have played in 7s tournament, such as Drauniniu and Abbot as well as David Lemi, who had been a regular for Samoa in the international Rugby 7s. Speaking about the young players from the academy in the squad, Hill stated that their selection was down to the fact that they would be able to gather valuable experience and be a part of an extremely important competition.

Richard Hill went to add that this tournament would be a good learning curb for the young players, who themselves are very excited at the prospect of turning out for the club in the prestigious competition come Thursday.

FIJI TAKE TITLE

Fiji ran out 35-28 victors in the Hong Kong Sevens final over New Zealand to secure the title, having defeated England in the semi finals.

The final was just what would be expected from two of the most entertaining sides in the world game. It was played at a high level of intensity, was incredibly competitive and highly physical. The game was played with such competitiveness that New Zealand were reduced to 6 men after a yellow card to their double try scorer, Mark Jackman and the game ended with a punch up between all the players.

Fiji’s success in the final will be some conciliation for England, who disappointed throughout the tournament and initially felt Fiji were a side they should have beaten comfortably. England came close against the islanders in the 14-7 defeat before being hammered 28-0 by South Africa in the third place play off.

Ben Ryan, England’s head coach expressed their disappointment but was keen to emphasise the positives. “We’ve got a lot of learning still to do, We want to be the best and we need to make that next step up. We’re at the top table and are regularly the only northern hemisphere side to make the semi finals.”

The victory for Fiji was celebrated back at home and the islanders, who are regularly one of the best in the world when it comes to sevens will be even more excited than most by the inclusion of Sevens in the Olympics from 2016. For a nation the size of Fiji to compete, and regularly defeat the likes of New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and England is remarkable and the prospect of a possible Olympic Gold Medal for them will and does excite a nation where Sevens is the be all and end all of sport.

AUSTRALIA WIN IN TOKYO

The rugby sevens series at Tokyo was won by Australia for the first time. Australia had previously not done very impressively in the rugby sevens matches. The rugby sevens matches are played at various venues for over nine rounds. Until now the best performance by the Australian rugby sevens side was a fourth place end at the Gold Coast.

Australia’s win was a surprise element. The victory looked possible in the seventh round which was held in Japan. They were playing against Samoa, who defeated the series favourite New Zealand 17-12 in the semis. Samoa players Ken Pisi and Lolo Lui were there to stop Australia, but Australian captain Ed Jenkins set the deal with his try Lucas sealed it off with his kick at the knick of time.

The Australian squad was a young one, with Lucas playing his second seven a side tournament. The young team was prepared to win, knowing that there was no other way out. They refused to give up until the final whistle was blown. Lucas said that he was tired at the end of the match but he knew that they have to win and this helped him keep his thinking clear.

Australian coach O’Connor believes that the team’s victory at the rugby sevens was due to sheer grit and determination. Australia hadn’t won a single final since 2010 May, when it defeated Argetina Rugby team in London, and the team went all out to prove their critics wrong. The team has been suffering from injuries, and finally they could recuperate from all the negativity and come all out and clench a final victory.

Australia defeated Wales and was defeated by England during the run up to the finals. After this victory, Australia’s ranking is sixth in the World Series standings for rugby sevens with 84 points.

HONG KONG DRAW

The draws for the much anticipated HSBC Hong Kong Rugby Sevens has been declared and the round six of the World Series will be played from the twenty third of March till the Twenty fifth of March at the renowned Hong Kong stadium.

The first event will feature the current twelve teams of the HSBC Sevens World Rugby Sevens series have been drawn into three different pools-Pool A, Pool B and Pool C. The other competition will be featuring twelve good teams from the six IRB rugby regions. These twelve teams will be fighting it out for three very crucial core team places. These twelve teams have also been grouped into three pools, namely Pool D, Pool E and Pool F.

Samoa who were the Cup winners in the USA rugby sevens, New Zealand who were runners up and Fiji who came third have been put to the top of the three pools A, B and C. the rest of the nine teams have been put to different pools depending upon their current World Series Ranking. This way it ensures that every team gets a fair chance and at the same time the best teams are given the right opportunities to go till the end of the tournament.

Thus the final groupings of the tournament stand as-Pool A comprises Samoa, England, Kenya and Argentina. Pool B on the other hand comprises New Zealand, South Africa, USA and Wales. Pool C on the other hand comprises Fiji, Australia, Scotland and France. Pool D comprises Tonga, Uruguay, Hong Kong the hosts and China. Pool E comprises Canada, Spain, Zimbabwe and newcomers Philippines. Pool F, the last of the lot, comprises Portugal, Russia, Japan and newcomers Guyana.

This Rugby Sevens event is a very important one as all the core teams that will participate in the Cup, Bowl and Plate will be receiving World Series Ranking, which is a big thing on its own. And the top three teams will automatically get the status of the core team in the series coming next year.

NEW ZEALAND TOP WORLD RANKINGS

New Zealand rose to joint top spot in the World Series rankings with victory in a close fought final of the South African Sevens tournament.

The All Blacks saw of the hosts in a nail biting 31-26 victory in the final and join Fiji at the top of the Tour rankings on 51 points after the first three events.

South Africa themselves are in third on 48 and England, winners in Dubai, are fourth just a point behind the South Africans. According to the Betfair Rugby betting exchanges, England had been favourites to top the World Rankings, but struggled.

New Zealand led twice in the first half but on both occasions the South African’s struck back. The Kiwis eventually took a 17-14 half time lead when Frank Halai ran in from long range to make the half time score 17-14.

South Africa again came out strongest in the early stages of the second half running in two further tries before New Zealand really got going. They still could not however shake off the Kiwis and they once again fought back, eventually sealing the win when Tomasi Cama latched onto a kick to score with the last play.

Elsewhere in the tournament Samoa finished third, defeating England in the play-off match. Wales won the Plate competition, Scotland the bowl and Zimbabwe the Shield competition, which went against the latest Rugby Union betting odds, which had Zimbabwe placed as rank outsiders.

The fact that Fiji were hammered 48-0 by Wales in the Plate final emphasises how open the whole series is. Fiji led on their own going into this tournament after strong showings in Australia(winners) and Dubai(3rd place), yet they had to settle for a place in the Plate competition this time round and they were humbled by a fairly average Welsh side.

Scotland’s plate victory of Canada was a much closer fought affair, they ran out 22-19 victors over the Pan American Games champions. The shield final was an all African clash, with Zimbabawe defeating Kenya 19-12.

SEVENS MAKING A GLOBAL IMPACT

Rugby Sevens, also known as seven a side is a different form of rugby game play. It basically consists of seven players playing on the field instead of the standard fifteen.

Rugby Seven was originally started off in Scotland and the Melrose tournament is still played annually till date. This summer game has managed to gain popularity because of the fact that it has gained interest from all levels of the society, from the amateurs as well as in club tournaments. Its popularity has spread all throughout Asia, Europe, Africa, South Pacific and America.

Rugby Sevens has managed to make an impact globally and has found a place in the Olympics. It will make its debut in the Olympic games of 2016. It will be officially registered as a sport after a vote is passed by the executive body governing the Olympic Committee. The beauty of a Rugby Seven tournament is that it can be finish off to completion within a week or two at maximum due to the short time span of each match. The team of Rugby seven is usually composed of three players on the forward, three backs and one at the scrums. The scrums are usually just three players from each team.

There are several variations to the game that are available and they keep changing depending upon the tournament that is being held currently. The entire game of Rugby Sevens is all about fun and frolic and the fans come up in fancy dresses to cheer for their teams to bring about some entertainment and excitement.

This game has managed to grow in the times and people are constantly becoming more and more interested in the game bringing about a better popularity and like from the masses and fans.

BARDEN GIVEN ENGLAND CAPTAINCY

With the 2011/12 Rugby Sevens World Series kicking off in Australia this weekend England have named, former marine, Greg Barden as the man who will captain the side through this year’s campaign, replacing long time captain and record points scorer Ben Gollings.

Barden described his appointment as “a huge honour and a huge privilege to be named England Sevens captain.” He is one of 12 full time sevens players named in England’s squad for the upcoming season, who will be aiming to improve on a promising third place in the 2010-11 series, which included victory in the season opening Dubai event. If England hope to build upon the successes of last year they will have to, again start well this year.

Like his predecessor Gollings, Barden has ended a military career to take up a full time playing contract with the RFU’s Sevens team, having served with the marines for 14 years prior to his appointment and he expressed the similarities between a military career and the Sevens game at the World Series launch this week. He noted that “A lot of personal things are the same in terms of aims and how far I want to push myself and Sevens is the perfect game for that physically and mentally.”

The challenges set by serving in the military provide the leadership, physical and mental skills that are ever useful in playing competitive Rugby Sevens. Barden also sees similarities between his two careers in “the way the lads think in terms of camaraderie”.

The similarities between Barden and Gollings give a positive impression of Barden. If he can achieve anywhere near as much as Gollings did as Seven’s captain he will have been an exceptional servent for the England team. He has the platform and many of the skills as a leader required to build upon the foundations laid by Gollings and lead England through a successful Series. The first tournament of the series is held this weekend in Australia and England will face Wales, Scotland and Tonga in their pool, before hoping to progress to the business end of the weekend.

Entered? Heres what happens next

On arrival, if the team captain or allocated representative would kingly report to the control box to register your teams attendance, it makes are jobs a lot easier. They will also be refunded some of their registration fee that was required to secure their teams place in the tournament.

In the past we have had both whole teams and players drop out on the day. Not very sporting, I know, so trust us when we say that teams that ‘No Show’ only ever do it once.

This does, however, allow extra players who might fancy a run out the opportunity of a game. So bring your boots and Seven’s Rugby Shirt, as you can nearly always get a game!

Trophies are presented for teams either winning or coming runners up in both the Cup and Plate competitions and the presentations take place at the end of each days play.

Date Fixed: Saturday 15th May

Information re applications and participation.

Clubs are invited to enter a team in the Arizona 7’s Tournament, organised in conjunction with Kingdom Sports. The tournament intends to provide an enjoyable social day mixed with entertaining rugby, which will be held on Saturday 15th May.

Your Club’s participation in the Tournament, will be greatly appreciated and you will join others of similar enthusiasm in a day of entertainment and rugby fun.

This year the tournament will consist of 16 teams in four groups of four. Following the group stages all teams will progress through to the Cup or Plate stages thus guaranteeing a minimum of 4 games per team. After the group stages the tournament will progress to a straight forward knockout competition with the finals being held just after 5:00pm.

Teams should be at the club and registered by 10:30am ready for the first games to kick off at 11:00 (and that’s sharp, we have 38 matches scheduled to play in one day!). Matches will be played over 2 pitches. Sevens rules apply, 7 minutes each way. Teams will have at least 20 minutes to rest between games.