PREVIEW: 2021 Rugby World Cup Sevens (Cape Town)


To do so four knockout fixtures will have to be won across three days as opposed to the typical World Series format where teams play each other in group games to determine the finals qualifying order.


On Day One, the Black Ferns Sevens play Colombia at 2:01am on Saturday morning, while the All Blacks Sevens face either Jamaica or Scotland in the Round of 16 at 3:37am. 


The All Black Sevens prospects have been significantly boosted following victory at the Los Angeles Sevens in August and the return of previous World Cup winners, Dylan Collier, Scott Curry and Sam Dickson. Combined, the trio have played 169 tournaments for New Zealand.


"They are three of our best and arguably some of the best forwards in the game at the moment. I think their energy will perk up the boys so it will be perfect bringing them in as the rest of the squad are recovering from LA,” coach Clark Laidlaw said.


Akuila Rokolisoa, Sione Molia and Kurt Baker were also involved in the 2018 World Cup win, Laidlaw stressing experience is vital. 


"The World Cup is unlike any other tournament. Only playing four games across three days; there is a lot of downtime where you could over-think things so getting that balance right is important.”


Brady Rush is the youngest of the six World Cup rookies. His father, Eric Rush was captain when the All Black Sevens won their first World Cup in Mar del Plata, Argentina in 2001.


Regan Ware has clocked up 46 tournaments while Ngarohi McGarvey-Black and Moses Leo were outstanding in the LA triumph.


"I guess the exciting part of LA was the emergence of some players that don't always get a lot of game time. It tested our depth and showed if we apply ourselves the players we have are very capable,” Laidlaw said.


"Winning like that builds belief. We had a tough pool but there were little moments that set the tone in terms of the resilience we want to show.



"Some of our fondest memories are tournaments in South Africa, they have passionate fans. If we come up against South Africa you won't find a more hostile environment – we're excited to get there."


The Black Ferns Sevens also have six players back from the 2018 World Cup, with captain Sarah Hirini becoming the first woman to play 50 tournaments. 


The Olympic champions were beaten by Australia at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, a result that still lingers for coach Cory Sweeney.


"It’s fair to say that the group was disappointed, but we were proud of how they bounced back to win the bronze medal. We are determined to reach our potential, so the last three weeks have been awesome and we are ready to go and be as strong as we possibly can.”


In addition to regulation training, the Black Ferns Sevens have been training 3x8 minute scenarios against Canada who they beat for bronze at the Commonwealth Games. Risaleeana Pouri-Lane from Bay of Plenty is in her ninth tournament. She says that training methodology has been “fun” and “more interesting” while she described the knockout format as “daunting, but exciting too.”


There is considerable excitement about Canterbury’s Jorja Miller. The 18-year old is set to debut this weekend and Sweeney was full of praise for the youngster.


"We've watched Jorja since she was 15 years-old and she's been a stand out amongst her peers. We had internal games last week and there was no question, she stood up and really earned her selection."


The World Cup is live on Spark Sport.


Round of 16

All Blacks Sevens v Jamaica or Scotland 

Saturday 10 September, 2.01am 


Black Ferns Sevens v Colombia 

Saturday 10 September, 3.37am



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