Deja vu for All Blacks Sevens in Cape Town

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In achieving their second place, they beat Wales, Canada and Samoa to qualify and in Cape Town they will again play Wales and Canada with Argentina taking Samoa's place in their pool.

 

Argentina beat defending champions Fiji in pool play in Dubai, denying Fiji a place in the playoffs.

 

World Rugby has employed what it calls a 'snake format' to determine the draws in both the men's and women's events, and it has resulted in hosts and winners of the Dubai Sevens, South Africa being draw with defending Series and Cape Town champions Fiji and the United States and Japan.

 

South Africa coach Neil Powell said: "If you look at the pool it is one, two and four from last season's seedings. It will be tough but maybe that is something we needed to get a good challenge and if we can get through it nicely it will build character."

 

Australia, who finished fifth in Dubai, have called up Sean McMahon from club rugby in Japan to play in Cape Town. The last time he played sevens for Australia was in 2014 and his choice is regarded as a possible first step towards inclusion in Australia's team for the Olympic Games next year.

 

Australia coach Tim Walsh said: "He is the sort of player I think…no, I know, can add a lot of value. He has played a lot of sevens in the past and he is that bigger, powerful body that can complement the existing group that we have. And also just provide some more competition to the squad.

 

"He has that grit and competitive nature, and you add that to his frame, it's a great mix," he said.

 

Cape Town will also debut for the women's series in the double weekend.

 

New Zealand's Black Ferns, the Dubai winners and defending Series champions, are drawn with Russia, Fiji and South Africa who are competing on an invitational basis and playing at home for the first time.

 

Canada, the Dubai runners-up are drawn with France, Spain and Brazil while the United States, Australia, England and Ireland complete the pools.

 

The Cape Town tournament will follow the same format as Dubai, with one game each in both men's and women's series, with pool play completed with two games on Saturday and the playoffs contested on Sunday.

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