- HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series arrives in Seville, Spain as men’s and women’s teams prepare for round four on 28-30 January
- South Africa men and Australia women lead the Series rankings after three rounds
- Portugal women to make their Series debut while invitational teams Germany and Jamaica men, and Belgium and Poland women continue as New Zealand, Fiji and Samoa were unable to travel to Spain
- Play begins at 12:00 local time (GMT+1) on Friday, 28 January and fans can find out where to watch here
The men’s and women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series captains were given a warm welcome to Seville, Spain on Wednesday ahead of the fourth round of the Series at Estadio La Cartuja de Sevilla on 28-30 January.
The teams arrived in Seville, where they were pictured at Plaza de Espana, fresh from a thrilling third round in nearby Malaga as Spain hosted the Series for the first time last weekend.
South Africa’s men and Australia’s women continue to lead the Series Standings but the USA took the women’s title in Malaga, beating Russia in the final, while South Africa required a last second try to overcome Argentina in an epic men’s final.
USA women’s co-captain Alena Olsen reflected on the success in Malaga: “We’re really proud to have achieved the result last weekend. It feels good to have everything we’ve worked on in training come out on the field when it mattered and we couldn’t have asked for more.
Looking ahead to this weekend’s action she added: “We have a lot of good feelings coming in to this weekend’s event but sevens is a crazy game and you never know how the tournaments are going to work out so we’re taking it game by game. It’s a lot of fun to change it up and Seville brings something fresh and it’s a beautiful city so it’s great to be here and bring rugby here.”
South Africa will have a new captain this weekend as Impi Visser takes the armband in place of regular captain Siviwe Soyizwapi who misses out through injury. Commenting on the incredible winning run Visser said: “For us as a squad it is not about breaking records or winning a certain number of games, it’s about everybody being tuned in to the same page, knowing what our goals and values are, and enjoying the team spirit. We’re not putting a lot of pressure on ourselves, the boys are calm and collected and really excited for this weekend.”
“To captain this side is a huge honour and privilege. A lot of the guys that have captained before me are legends of the game that have stood in this position, so for me it is a real honour and we plan to enjoy this weekend.”
Portugal women will make their Series debut to complete a full 12 team line-up in the women’s tournament as invitational teams Belgium and Poland women, as well as Germany and Jamaica men, will look to continue their competitive form from Malaga last week.
Teams from New Zealand, Fiji and Samoa were unfortunately unable to travel to Spain due to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pool allocation for the women’s tournament is based on the finishing positions in Malaga and sees the USA face Canada, England and Portugal in Pool A.
Beaten finalists Russia are in Pool B along with Ireland, Poland and Brazil. Series leaders Australia find themselves in Pool C where they will take on Olympic silver medallists France, hosts Spain and invitational team Belgium.
The pool draw for men’s tournament saw the all-conquering South Africa placed in Pool A alongside the USA and hosts Spain in a three team pool which includes only three teams as Samoa are unable to participate. Opposition teams will be awarded a bye against Samoa with a three point victory and 0-0 scoreline recorded.
Pool B involves Argentina, silver medallists in Malaga, who will take on Ireland, Germany and Jamaica. In Pool C the youthful England squad that claimed bronze in Malaga will face France, Wales and Japan.
Core Series teams Australia, Canada, Scotland and Kenya are drawn in a strong looking Pool D.
Play in the HSBC Spain Sevens - Seville will kick-off at 12:00 local time (GMT+1) on Friday, 28 January when Ireland and Poland take to the pitch in a women’s Pool B encounter.
After three rounds of the 2022 Series, South Africa dominate the men’s Series standings with a maximum 66 points, followed by Argentina with 53 points accumulated from three consecutive podium finishes with Australia in third on 47 points.
Australia are on top of the women’s Series standings at the halfway stage with 56 points from the opening three rounds, followed by France and Russia who are tied on 46 points with Malaga title winners the USA in fourth on 40 points.
Spain is a key emerging nation for rugby in both sevens and 15’s formats of the game. With both the men’s and women’s teams firmly established as core teams on the World Series it is exciting to see top level rugby sevens come to Spain as the sport continues to grow from strength to strength throughout the country.
Following outstanding men’s and women’s competitions at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in July 2021, the Series continue to reach new fans. Independent research showed Rugby sevens’ second Olympic appearance to be hugely impactful for the sport in engaging and inspiring new, younger and more diverse fans across the globe, particularly in emerging rugby nations with 54 per cent agreeing the Olympics increased their interest in the sport and 63 per cent watching sevens for the first time.
The health and welfare of everyone involved remains the top priority and our thanks and gratitude go to the Spanish Rugby Federation, government authorities and all partners and stakeholders for their hard work and dedication to ensure the safe and secure delivery of these events.
Rugby sevens fans around the world can watch the action via live stream on World Rugby digital platforms including www.world.rugby, You Tube and Facebook in countries where there is no national broadcaster covering the event. Find out where to watch here.
Tickets to the HSBC Spain Sevens in Seville are available here.