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No margin for error in World Cup Sevens

Mike Lee - KLC fotos for World Rugby

Lynn McConnell     02 May 2018     Mike Lee - KLC fotos for World Rugby

The tournament, which is being played at San Francisco's AT&T Park, will be played on July 20-22 and includes 24 men's and 16 women's team.

In the men's section for the Melrose Cup, teams ranked ninth to 24th will play a knockout preliminary round to qualify to join the top eight seeds in the round of 16.

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New Zealand's All Blacks Sevens, the defending champions, will open the tournament playing the winner of the game between Russia and Hong Kong.

Fiji, the defending Olympic Games champions will play the winner of Japan v Uruguay in their opening game while South Africa, the other top performer from this year's HSBC World Sevens series, will play the winner of Ireland v Chile in their opening game.

Should New Zealand win their opening game, they would then play the winner of the Australia game against either France or Jamaica. A win for New Zealand in that game would potentially put it in place for a semifinal against Fiji.

The women will open the event and New Zealand, also the defending Cup holders, will play their first game against Mexico while the Olympic champions Australia, and HSBC World Women's Sevens leader, will play Papua New Guinea in their opening game.

New Zealand to advance would then play the winner of England v Ireland while a semifinal opponent would come from one of United States, China, Russia or South Africa.

World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said: "There has never been a more competitive World Rugby Sevens Series than this year's edition, with five different winners in the first five rounds in the men's series, and only 16 points separating the top four nations in the women's series.

"We are all set for a great showcase of the drama and excitement of rugby sevens at the first Rugby World Cup event to be held in the USA," he said. 

View the full schedule HERE.