Seedings race continues for 2013 RWC Sevens

Getty Images and James Mortimer     28 Jan 2013     Getty Images

The defending series champions, the All Blacks Sevens will be keen to make a mark in the Rugby World Cup for the abbreviated game, with the tournament the one where New Zealand has not been able to make a mark on.

They have won it just once in five attempts.

Meanwhile, in the women’s seedings, defending champions Australia lead the way, closely followed by England, Canada and Spain.

The RWC Sevens 2013 Pool Allocation Draw will take place at Petroff Palace, Moscow, on February 28. A banded draw for both the men's and women's qualified teams will be used for the tournament to be played in the Russian capital from June 28-30 next year.

Rugby World Cup Limited Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “With two rounds of the HSBC Sevens World Series and one in the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series still to go, there are still opportunities for teams to switch bands before the Pool Allocation Draw takes place in Moscow at the end of next month.”

“Bringing the RWC Sevens 2013 to Russia is an exciting development for the Game as we continue our commitment to promote Rugby beyond its traditional heartlands. Moscow is a fascinating and vibrant city that is used to putting on world-class events so we expect spectators from overseas as well as from within Russia will enjoy every minute of their experience.”

Men's Rugby World Cup Sevens rankings after Port Elizabeth leg of HSBC Sevens World Series

1. New Zealand 393
2. Fiji 327
3. South Africa 306
4. Samoa 292
5. England 277
6. Australia 211
7. Wales 184
8. Argentina 166
9. France 131
10. Kenya 93
11. Scotland 69
12. USA 68
13. Canada 56
14. Portugal 47
15. Spain 32
16. Russia 19
17. Tonga 17
18. Zimbabwe 12
19. Japan 10
20. Hong Kong 5
21. Georgia 0
22. Tunisia 0
23. Philippines 0
24. S American Q* 0

If the PAD took place today (January 25), below would be the band seeding. However, there is plenty of time for the situation to change before February 28:

The four bands of six for the men, after Port Elizabeth, South Africa, are as follows:
Band 1: New Zealand, Fiji, South Africa, Samoa, England, Australia
Band 2: Wales, Argentina, France, Kenya, Scotland, USA
Band 3: Canada, Portugal, Spain, Russia, Tonga, Zimbabwe
Band 4: Japan, Hong Kong, Georgia, Tunisia, Philippines, South American Qualifier

Women's Rugby World Cup Sevens rankings after Dubai leg of IRB Women’s Sevens World Series

1. Australia 30
2. England 28
3. Canada 28
4. Spain 28
5. South Africa 24
6. New Zealand 20
7. USA 18
8. Netherlands 16
9. Russia 16
10. China 10
11. France 6
12. Japan 2
13. Tunisia 0
14. Ireland 0
15. Fiji 0
16. S America Q* 0

The four bands of four for the women, after Dubai, are as follows:
Band 1: Australia, England, Canada, Spain
Band 2: South Africa, New Zealand, USA, Netherlands
Band 3: Russia, China, France, Japan
Band 4: Tunisia, Ireland, Fiji, South American Qualifier

The men’s seeding takes into account the past two full HSBC Seven World Series seasons as well as the 5 events in the current season up to the date of the PAD. The IRB Women's Challenge Cup tournaments held last year provided international rugby sevens competition for the first time since RWC Sevens 2009 and this, together with the first two legs of the inaugural IRB Women's Sevens World Series, has enabled the current playing strength of teams to be used to band teams.

For the men's competition, teams will be divided into six pools of four and play in a round-robin format over the first two days before progressing to the knock-out phase on the final day. The women's teams will be split into four pools of four and play in a round-robin format over the first day of their competition (June 29) before progressing to knock-out phase on the final day. This will provide a total of 100 Sevens matches over the three days.

The 24 men’s teams and 16 women’s teams have nearly all been determined with only the South America region yet to hold its qualifying tournament. That event will take place from February 23-24 in Rio de Janeiro, the location for Rugby’s historic return to the Olympic Games programme in 2016.