The pools and schedule have been confirmed for the HSBC Sydney Sevens, the next round of the men’s and women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2020.

With the pools based on the rankings of the HSBC New Zealand Sevens in Hamilton last weekend, some mouth-watering pools await fans lucky enough to be at Bankwest Stadium or watching around the world.

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Defending champions New Zealand are the top seeds of the women’s competition and will face England, Russia and invitational side Japan in Pool A.

With only the pool winners guaranteed to advance to the Cup semi-finals, the other two pools feature two of the sides in the top five in the standings at the halfway point of the 2020 series.

Hamilton runners-up Canada will face USA – the team they beat to win the Sydney title in 2017 – as well as the much improved Fiji and Brazil in Pool B.

France, fresh from winning their first ever bronze medal in series history, will face Sydney 2018 champions and hosts Australia, Spain and Ireland in Pool C.

That title – secured in record-breaking style as the first team not to concede a single point in men’s or women’s series history – was Australia’s last success, the Olympic champions having been runners-up to New Zealand in the 2019 edition.

Sharni Williams’ team will eager to end that drought at a tournament where Rugby Australia are donating $500 – matched by World Rugby – for every try scored by the Australian men’s and women’s team across the two days.

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The All Blacks Sevens, bidding for a third Cup title in a row after success in Cape Town and Hamilton, are the top seed for the men’s competition, the fourth round of the 2020 series. They will face Kenya, long-time rivals Fiji and Wales in Pool A.

Another intriguing pool will see Hamilton runners-up France face Argentina, South Africa and Samoa in Pool C, while hosts Australia will tackle USA, Scotland and invitational side Japan in Pool C.

The final pool has a largely European flavour to it with Canada joined by England, Ireland and Spain.

The action will get underway with the women’s competition at 09:30 local time on Saturday when USA face Fiji at Bankwest Stadium. The men's competition begins at 11:57 All teams will play two pool matches with the third match on Sunday followed by the play-offs on Sunday.