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HSBC Sevens World Series

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AustraliaAustralian men’s Sevens head coach Geraint John has named his 12-man squad that will travel to Asia for the Dubai Sevens in December.

The pacy duo of Greg Jeloudev (ankle) and Allan Fa’alava’au (ineligible) return after sitting out the Gold Coast Sevens World Series opener in October.

Veteran forward Jesse Parahi misses out after breaking a finger in training last Thursday and will undergo surgery on Monday. Afa Pakalani (shoulder) and Shannon Walker (foot) are also unavailable through injury.

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Seabelo Senatla

Seabelo Senatla

Seabelo Senatla has been released from the Springbok touring squad at the request of the Springbok Sevens and will return to South Africa on Sunday.

Senatla will join the Blitzbokke as they prepare for the next two tournaments in the HSBC Sevens World Series, in Dubai and Port Elizabeth.

“We’ve got a very good relationship with Neil (Powell) and the Sevens, so we’re happy to help,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

“At this stage we won’t be calling up a replacement as we have enough cover at the back.

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BlitzbokkeThe Springbok Sevens’ preparation plans for the next two rounds of the HSBC Sevens World Series have received a boost with the news that Springbok centre JJ Engelbrecht and Junior Springbok fullback Cheslin Kolbe will join the training group from Monday in Stellenbosch.

Successful talks between SARU and several provincial unions have paved the way for a number of Absa Currie Cup players to be released for Springbok Sevens training duty.

Engelbrecht, a contracted Springbok with 12 Test caps, played for the Vodacom Blue Bulls during the recently concluded Absa Currie Cup while Kolbe starred for the DHL Western Province during their successful campaign.

Three more Vodacom Blue Bulls players, Jesse Kriel, Warrick Gelant and Duncan Matthews (all utility backs), will join the training on Monday.

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Singapore National StadiumSingapore clinched a four-year deal to host a leg of the IRB Sevens World Series at its state-of-the-art new National Stadium, starting next year, a media report said.

The Straits Times said the Singapore Rugby Union signed a host union agreement with the International Rugby Board last week.

It will join Vancouver and Paris as new entrants to the nine-nation, eight-month global campaign, with Tokyo, Las Vegas and Glasgow making way, the report said, without naming a source.

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Kenya Sevens

Kenya Sevens

Initial Report:

Steroids have been found in supplements given to players on Kenya’s Sevens team, according to a report that calls for disciplinary proceedings against head coach Paul Treu and five members of his staff.

The report by a task force set up by the government to investigate allegations of doping in Kenyan sport says there are “strong suggestions” that Treu of South Africa and his assistants have violated anti-doping rules after introducing the supplements to players.

There was “a concoction they [the coaches] gave players to drink at the beginning and end of training,” Moni Wekesa, the Chairman of the task force that investigated, told The Associated Press on Monday.

The report says the Kenyan players would stop taking the supplement a few days before competing.

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HSBC Sevens World SeriesThe FIRST Event is the HSBC Sevens World Series 2014 / 2015 took place this weekend in the Gold Cost, Australia.

On the First Day, the traditionally BIG SIDES all progressed to the next Rounds of the Cup Competition.

Surprize results were Argentina beating England in the first game of the tournament, by 21 / 19, Wales beating Kenya in game 14 by 24 / 19 and scotland drawing with Portugal by 21 / 21 in game 23.

On Day 2 the tournament concluded, with Fiji taking the honours, beating Samoa in the Cup Final by 31 / 24.

 

Herewith the Results and Fixtures:

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Kenya Sevens

Money troubles – the Kenya Sevens team

Kenya has dropped ten players from their squad for the IRB world series opening tournament in Australia in a dispute with the national board over pay and contracts.

The players, including wingers Collins Injera and Horace Otieno and back-rower Biko Adema, were reportedly unhappy that the board had agreed to draw up performance-driven contracts without consulting them.

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BlitzbokkeThe Springbok Sevens team will soon start the next phase in their pursuit of Olympic silverware after they stunned the New Zealand team in the final at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games at the weekend.

The South African team made history by beating the All Blacks for the first time since Rugby Sevens were introduced as one of the sporting codes in 1998.

“It is an important tournament win for us as a Springbok Sevens team. This will mean a lot for us going into the next season and going into the Olympics in 2016,” Blitzbokke coach Neil Powell said at the team’s arrival in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

“It is always great to beat the All Blacks in a final and it was a tough one, the guys really worked hard to win that one. Credit to my boys.”

“It is an honour and a privilege to represent your country and to win in the Commonwealth games is special and means a lot to us.”

The South African team captured the imagination as they played with unbridled vigour throughout the campaign.

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Sonny Bill Williams

STAR POWER: Players like Sonny Bill Williams could potentially turn out for the New Zealand Sevens team at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

Opinions in New Zealand rugby are divided on the details of how many top tier fifteens players should be made available for a tilt at Olympic sevens and how those players should be transitioned into rugby’s abbreviated game.

New Zealand Rugby Union chief executive Steve Tew confirmed today a number of top tier Super Rugby players and All Blacks would prioritise sevens in 2016 in the lead up to the Rio de Janeiro Games.

However, he said there was plenty of debate around exactly how that process would be handled and hinted the failure to win gold in Glasgow would be factored into discussions.

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New Zealand Sevens team

CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR: The New Zealand Sevens team trudges off the field at Ibrox Stadium are missing out on gold to South Africa.

Rio de Janeiro seems a long way from a chilly summer night in Glasgow, but rugby sevens guru Gordon Tietjens has already sent out his wish list of stars for the next Olympics.

That includes Sonny Bill Williams, and current All Blacks Cory Jane, Liam Messam and Julian Savea, as he casts the net wide in the wake of the end of a Commonwealth Games era.

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Sir Gordon Tietjens

Sir Gordon Tietjens is New Zealand’s legendary sevens coach with training techniques to scare the fittest players.

He’s one of the most decorated coaches at the Commonwealth Games, but where did it all begin for New Zealand’s long-time Sevens coach?

“From where he was, from a fancy-free, practical joking, happy go lucky player to where he is now. It’s bloody legendary.”

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Geraint John

Geraint John

Geraint John has joined the Australian Sevens team as head coach, from Canada who enjoyed their most successful season to date.

The 51-year-old has been head coach of the Canada’s Sevens team since 2010.

John, from Carmarthen, Wales, takes over the reins from Michael O’Connor, who stepped down as Head Coach in February after six years in the role.

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Neil PowellHaving steered the Springbok Sevens to a credible second place on the HSBC Sevens World Series, Blitzboks coach Neil Powell admitted that he needs to improve the depth of his squad to make them more competitive next season.

Powell took over the reigns as head coach of the Springbok Sevens when the 2013/14 season started in October last year. His immediate aim was to install a good level of consistency, and to reach the semi-final of each of the nine World Series tournaments.

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HSBC Sevens World SeriesThe final round of this season’s HSBC Sevens World Series took place in London. The London leg of the series took place during Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 of May.

Before this tournament New Zealand topped the World Series table and were hot favourites to add yet another trophy to their sevens cabinet, which they comfortably did by winning this leg of the HSBS Sevens World Series in Londom too.

Prior to the tournament they were already 19 points ahead of their nearest rivals, South Africa, on the overall standings table.

New Zealand, South Africa and Fiji notched up big wins in their first games on Day 1 against Argentina, Portugal and Spain respectively.  South Africa then remained unbeaten through Day 1 while Fiji lost one game, to Australia and New Zealand also lost one game, being narrowly defeated in the final game of Day 1 by England.  All three these teams competed in the quarter finals of the Cup section on Day 2 where they were joined by England, Australia, Samoa, Kenya and France.

The BlitzBokke’s ‘reward’ for topping their pool is a Cup quarter final against New Zealand, but New Zealand comfortably dispatched the Blitzbokke by 32 / 5 in their quarter final.

The Results were periodically updated here on Rugby-Talk.

All times are in British Summer Time (BST), one hour behind South African Time.

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HSBC Sevens World SeriesThe Glasgow leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series took place this weekend.

Super Rugby’s broadcast times largely clashed on Saturday with these games, therefore we looked at the results already done and dusted and we followed the rest of the games as they progressed.

The Fixtures and Results were updated from time to time here on Rugby-Talk.

New Zealand takes the Cup, beating Canada in the final by 54 / 7 and now have an unassailable lead of 19 points in the season, effectively already winning the overall title for the season, with one leg to go in the season.

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hsbcsevenslogoScotland 7s head coach, Stephen Gemmell, has brought in two seasoned Scotland internationals to his 12-man squad for the Emirates Airline Glasgow 7s this weekend (3-4 May).

Nick De Luca, capped 41 times for Scotland, will win his first HSBC Sevens World Series cap since Hong Kong in 2006, while Richie Vernon, capped 20 times for the national team, comes in for the first time since San Diego in 2009.

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Mark RichardsCecil AfrikaVersatile back Mark Richards has replaced Cecil Afrika in the Springbok Sevens squad for the penultimate HSBC Sevens World Series tournament next weekend in Glasgow, the South African Rugby Union (SARU) confirmed on Thursday.

Afrika was not considered for the Blitzboks’ 12-man squad to Scotland because he is still completing his rehabilitation at Stellenbosch following the groin strain he suffered in Hong Kong.

Depending on his progress, he might be considered for selection should the need arise to call up a player for the London Sevens (10 – 11 May).

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HSBC Sevens World SeriesNew-ZealandNew Zealand brushed aside England 26-7 to win the Hong Kong Sevens and reclaim top spot in the overall standings in the IRB Sevens World Series, Sunday.

The All Blacks Sevens, the defending World Series champions, won its third tournament this season in fine style, running four tries past a hapless England to claim their 11th Cup Championship in Hong Kong and first since 2011.

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South AfricaHSBC Sevens World SeriesThe Springbok Sevens lost 33-26 to Fiji in a thrilling, epic Tokyo Sevens Cup Final after the Pacific Islanders managed to score a brilliant and trademark long range winning try with just second remaining on the clock.

However, despite the disappointment of losing their tournament title in what must surely rank as one of the all-time great HSBC Sevens World Series Cup Finals, the South Africans did manage to regain the lead on the overall standings.

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South AfricaHSBC Sevens World SeriesProlific try scorer Seabelo Senatla returns to the South African squad for the next two tournaments of the IRB Sevens World Series – in Tokyo and Hong Kong.

However, playmaker Cecil Afrika will miss the trip to the Far East because of a troublesome hamstring.

Steven Hunt replaces Afrika, while Senatla comes in for Sampie Mastriet, who is on Super Rugby duty with the Bulls, for the two changes to the 12-man squad that lost to New Zealand in the Wellington Cup Final last month.

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HSBC Sevens World SeriesThe International Rugby Board (IRB) has announced the dates for the HSBC Sevens World Series 2014 / 2015, which has gained in significance with the recent announcement that the top four-ranked nations will qualify from it directly for the Olympic Games in 2016.

According to the IRB’s official website, the 16th edition of the record-breaking series will visit the same nine countries as the current 2013/14 season with two changes to the order of rounds. The event in the USA will be played the weekend after New Zealand’s, and Japan’s tournament will follow on from Hong Kong.

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Michael O'ConnorMichael O’Connor has resigned from his position as Australian Rugby Sevens head coach citing family considerations as the contributing factor behind his decision.

“I tended my resignation to Anthony Eddy [General Manager – Rugby Sevens] and the ARU earlier this week.

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South AfricaJean de VilliersSpringbok captain Jean de Villiers on Wednesday became only the sixth player to be named South African Rugby Player of the Year more than once, while Eben Etzebeth was named the Young Player of the Year for 2013 for the second successive season at a glittering ceremony at the Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City in Johannesburg.

De Villiers led the Springboks to 10 wins in 12 Tests in 2013 and scored five tries in the process following an outstanding Vodacom Super Rugby campaign for the DHL Stormers. His first-class record now stands at 254 matches with 91 tries scored.

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HSBC Sevens World SeriesThe New Zealand leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series, in Wellington, was played this weekend.

The South African Blitzbokke started their bid to win a 3rd Tournament in a row in fine fashion, by beating Wales 26 / 0 and beating Portugal 27 / 5.

The Blitzbokke’s next challenge was England, and the game was won by England, by 19 / 5. Both England and South Africa advance to the Cup Quarters, England played Samoa and the Blitzbokke played Australia.

New Zealand comfortably beat France, 47 / 0 in the last game of Day 1, after earlier losing to Fiji, but also advanced to the Cup Quarters, where they played against Canada.

At the 2nd Day of the tournament, New Zealand and South Africa advanced all the way to the final, with Fiji beating England in the 3rd place play-off.

New Zealand won the final by 21 / 0 against the South African Blitzbokke, capitalizing on mistakes and shutting the Blitzbokke out in the 2nd half.

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FijiThe cash-strapped Fiji Rugby Union on Friday hailed a new US$21.3 million sponsorship deal as a “game changer” for the sport in the Pacific nation.

FRU chairman Filimoni Waqabaca said the five-year agreement gave the organisation certainty after a troubled period when it had to sack the national team’s coach to save money and had financial aid from the International Rugby Board (IRB) suspended.

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glasgowrugbyWinger Lee Jones has been added to the Glasgow Warriors squad for the forthcoming RaboDirect PRO12 matches, to provide injury cover until the end of the season.

The 25-year-old returns from Scotland 7s duty in New Zealand following his agreed loan from Edinburgh Rugby and will be available for this Sunday’s game against Connacht at Scotstoun Stadium.

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HSBC Sevens World SeriesThe South African Blitzbokke Sevens team head into the weekend’s Wellington Sevens in New Zealand looking for a 3rd successive tournament title in what would be a first for the South Africans.

The last time any team could win 3 consecutive tournaments on the IRB Sevens World Series was in 2010 when Samoa took the honours in the USA, Australia and Hong Kong.

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