irb.com and James Mortimer 12.Feb.2013
Despite being beaten 23-40 by South Africa in Sunday’s Cup final at the Las Vegas round of the HSBC Sevens World Series, consistency over the past two full Series as well as during a compelling current campaign, has seen New Zealand build an unassailable points lead ahead of the RWC Sevens Pool Allocation Draw, which takes place in Moscow on February 28.
New Zealand will be joined in band one for the Rugby World Cup Sevens Pool Allocation Draw by Fiji, South Africa, England, Samoa and Australia, who have all secured their places.
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New Zealand’s experienced playmaker Tomasi Cama said: “Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow is the big focus for us this year. We haven’t won it for many years now so we want to turn that around in 2013. We are using the series as our preparation for that. Hopefully we will win the series first and then take that form into the tournament.”
“We want all the supporters to come from New Zealand and from all over the world to Moscow – it’s going to be a great event. It will be good to see everyone there. I have never been to Moscow before so fingers crossed I will make the team to Rugby World Cup Sevens.”
“It’s going to be very exciting to be in Moscow and to play in the Rugby Sevens World Cup will be a huge thrill for me and the rest of the guys. Hopefully, we will be able to do our country proud when we get there,” added the 32-year-old, who won the 2012 IRB Sevens Player of the Year, in association with HSBC.
Band two for the draw will be populated by defending champions Wales, Argentina, France, Kenya, Scotland and USA while the third tier will include Canada, Portugal, Spain, Russia, Tonga and Zimbabwe.
Band four consists of Japan, Hong Kong, Georgia, Tunisia, Philippines and the final qualifier from the South American region.
Meanwhile, the women’s RWC Sevens rankings were confirmed last week with England, Australia, Canada and USA making up the top band. All those details can be found at rwcsevens.com.
RWC Sevens 2013 will be staged at Moscow’s premier sports venue, Luzhniki Stadium, which has previously hosted the Olympic Games and the final of the UEFA Champions League while the Pool Allocation Draw will take place on February 28 at Petroff Palace.
Men's Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 Rankings
1. New Zealand 429
2. Fiji 349
3. South Africa 338
4. Samoa 324
5. England 304
6. Australia 227
7. Wales 197
8. Argentina 183
9. France 144
10. Kenya 113
11. Scotland 93
12. USA 79
13. Canada 77
14. Portugal 49
15. Spain 42
16. Russia 19
17. Tonga 19
18. Zimbabwe 12
19. Japan 10
20. Hong Kong 5
21. Georgia 0
22. Tunisia 0
23. Philippines 0
24. S American Q* 0
The four bands of six for the men 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
The men’s seeding takes into account the past two full HSBC Seven World Series seasons as well as the 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.