Captains launch crucial Glasgow Sevens
The European climax of the HSBC Sevens World Series kicks off in Scotland this weekend with round 8, the Emirates Airline Glasgow Sevens, at Scotstoun stadium on 4-5 May.
The event is a key stepping stone towards the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow in June, but in the short term several nations have their eyes fixed on battles at the top and bottom of the Series table.
Defending Glasgow and Series champions New Zealand lead the overall race by 32 points but only six points separate South Africa, Fiji and Samoa in second, third and fourth. Meanwhile, at the bottom of the table the battle to avoid core team relegation guarantees intensity across the entire match schedule.
Core team promotion / relegation
At the Marriott London Sevens at Twickenham on 11-12 May the core teams ranked 13th, 14th and 15th after Glasgow will play off for three core team places next season with Asian champions Hong Kong, Russia, Zimbabwe, Tonga and Georgia.
Currently, tournament hosts Scotland are tied in joint-12th place with USA, above Portugal and Spain, meaning that Scotland and USA are most likely battling to out-perform each other in Glasgow and safeguard their core team status for 2013/14.
"It's not about the USA, it's not about anything else other than us doing our job this weekend," said Scotland Sevens coach, Stephen Gemmell. "I've said to the players that it's not about playing the league table. We're in our home tournament, we've got three important games on day one (against Portugal, England and New Zealand) and we've got a responsbility to deliver that."
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Glasgow coverage to reach 150 countries
Sky Sports will host the TV coverage in Glasgow, broadcasting all 45 matches live in the UK, while the pictures will also be watched by millions around the world.
In all, 29 international broadcasters will carry live, delayed-live or highlights footage from Scotland, taking over 400 hours of coverage to 150 countries.
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