Photo credit: Mike Lee – KLC fotos for World Rugby
South Africa will face England, Kenya and Japan in Pool B at the 2020 Hamilton Sevens. The tournament will take place on 25 – 26 January 2020.
South Africa’s first match will be against Japan at 2:03 South African time on Saturday, 25 January. They then play England at 7:30 (SAST), also on Saturday with their final pool match against Kenya scheduled for 1:30 (SAST) on Sunday, 26 January.
The knockouts will take place from 5:20 South African time on 26 January with the final scheduled for 9:56 SAST.
The Blitzboks are current joint-series leaders with New Zealand, with the two sides having won one tournament apiece since the World Series Sevens kicked off in Dubai in December.
The All Blacks Sevens are drawn with Scotland, USA and Wales in Pool A.
France, meanwhile, have a chance to keep their strong run of form going as they face Ireland, Canada and Spain in Pool C. Reigning Olympic and Series Champions Fiji, who have had a miserable start to the season, will play Argentina, Australia and Samoa in Pool D.
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.”
This year’s World Series is seen as a crucial part of Olympic preparation. Sevens will again 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 ten women’s teams have qualified for Tokyo 2020 so far with last season’s World Series the principal route for qualification with the top four teams in the men’s and women’s competitions automatically entered.
Just 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.
The Blitzboks narrowly lost the Cape Town Sevens to New Zealand, losing 5-7 in a tight final. South Africa’s coach Neil Powell was nonetheless content with the way the team formed.
“We had two good weeks, playing in two finals and winning one,” said Powell after the Cape Town Sevens.
“That is a much better start than last season and bar the two lineouts we fluffed in the final, we had a good tournament. I certainly cannot fault the effort of the players.”
Hamilton Sevens 2020: Pool draws
- New Zealand
- South Africa