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HSBC Sevens World Series

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Brett Gosper

Brett Gosper

International Rugby Board Chief Executive Brett Gosper urged international unions to play their star names at the Rio Olympics Sevens to maximise the sport’s opportunity on the world stage.

Gosper said that while the value of having regular Sevens players must be properly respected, Rugby Union’s chances of becoming a permanent Olympic sport may rely on an injection of star power from the traditional, more high-profile 15-a-side game.

“In 2017, straight after Rio, they’ll decide if Rugby continues to be a core sport at the Olympics. We will be in Japan in 2020 as well, but that may be it,” Gosper told reporters in Sydney.

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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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Nelson Mandela Bay SevensMaybe it’s fitting that the South African leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series tournament of 2013 / 2014 takes place a couple of days after the passing of the world’s biggest ever statesman, Nelson Mandela (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) at the stadium named in his honor, the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

It is the last sevens action in the HSBC Sevens World series of 2013.

The South African Blitzbokke will be eager to tribute this tournament to Madiba.

We bring you all you need to know about the 16 teams who will be vying for top honours in the Nelson Mandela Bay SA Sevens, the third round of the IRB Sevens World Series in Port Elizabeth this weekend.

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HSBC Sevens World SeriesNelson Mandela Bay SevensThe South African Blitzbokke and the other 15 international teams participating in this weekend’s Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens arrived at the Port Elizabeth International Airport on Monday evening.

The 16 teams arrived on two flights from Johannesburg, with the second flight about half an hour after the first flight.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens tournament marks the last leg of the 2013 part of the 2013 / 2014 HSBC Sevens World series, to be resumed well into 2014.

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Vuyo ZangqaSpringbok Sevens assistant coach Vuyo Zangqa will not renew his contract and will be stepping down from his current position with the South African team.

Zangqa was offered an extension on his contract, but has decided to pursue other career opportunities once his contract expires at the end of the month.

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DollarSevens looks to be the big winner as New Zealand’s professional rugby players are set to receive a significant pay increase through the new collective employment agreement.

The New Zealand Rugby Union and the New Zealand Rugby Players’ Association said today they had signed an agreement covering the professional game through to 2015.

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Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 was held in Moscow, Russia between 28-30 June. It was the sixth RWC Sevens and the second comprising a men’s and women’s tournament, following the event in Dubai in 2009.

Before this tournament, the defending men’s champions were Wales. Australia were the inaugural women’s champions.

New Zealand’s MEN and WOMEN’s sides won this tournament, completing an impressive double.

 

New Zealand 33 / 0 England (men)

New Zealand 29 / 12 Canada (women)

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Rugby World Cup Sevens LogoNew Zealand will be aiming to translate their world-beating form on the IRB World Series circuit into a title tilt at the World Cup Sevens in Moscow this weekend, with one eye on the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.

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