The 2019 Singapore Sevens brings an extra incentive for the
16 teams taking part: Olympic qualification.
USA, Fiji and New Zealand can secure qualification to the
Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games this weekend in Singapore, where the action takes
place at the National Stadium on 13 and 14 April.
The USA arrive in Singapore top of the series standings
following an impressively consistent run of results which has seen them on the
medal podium in six of the seven rounds so far, including victory on home soil
in Las Vegas.
USA Captain Madison Hughes said: “We’ve got lots of
confidence. We’ve just been going tournament by tournament and doing as well as
we can each time. It’s another tough pool here so we will have to play our
“Olympic qualification would mean so much. That was our big goal coming into this season, we want to get top four and get that Olympic qualification. It was a lofty goal at the time but now we’re really close to it. It’s a big tournament and we would love to qualify here but if not here, we will just keep pushing and doing everything we can to get that Olympic qualification.”
Fiji are hot on the heels of the USA in second place and arrive
in Singapore on the back of victory in Hong Kong last weekend. Fiji will be
aiming to repeat their feat of back-to-back triumphs, which they achieved last
year. New Zealand in third and South Africa complete the top four line up in
the current standings after seven rounds.
The 2019 series carries special significance as the top four
teams will qualify directly for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, and with just 40
points separating the top five teams it is all to play for in the remaining
three rounds of the series.
Should any of the top teams finish the Singapore event with
a margin of 43 or more points ahead of the fifth placed team in the standings –
currently England – they will have achieved Olympic qualification for Tokyo
2020 with two rounds to spare.
Blitzboks opponents at the Singapore Sevens
Drawn in Pool A, alongside Fiji, Scotland and Canada, the Blitzboks face a tough challenge. Largely in a transitional phase – yet still consistently challenging for the title – it’s unlike that South Africa will defend their title, but for Neil Powell’s men, this is all about planning for the future.
Blitzboks squad: TBA.
Singapore Sevens: Kick-off times and Blitzboks fixtures
All times SAST unless otherwise stated. This will become the results page. All pool games will be played on Saturday, 13 April 2019.
4:00 New Zealand vs Japan
4:22 Samoa vs Spain
4:44 England vs Kenya
5:06 USA vs Wales
5:30 Argentina vs Australia
5:52 France vs Hong Kong
6:14 Blitzboks vs
6:36 Fiji vs Canada
7:28 New Zealand vs Spain
7:50 Samoa vs Japan
8:12 England vs Wales
8:34 USA vs Kenya
8:56 Argentina vs Hong Kong
9:18 France vs Australia
9:40 Blitzboks vs
10:02 Fiji vs
10:54 Japan vs Spain
11:16 Samoa vs New Zealand
11:38 Kenya vs Wales
12:00 USA vs England
12:22 Australia vs Hong Kong
12:44 France vs Argentina
13:06 Scotland vs Canada
13:28 Fiji vs Blitzboks