Sevens captains launch London Series climax
The 12 captains and coaches in the main Series Cup competition came together today to launch the ninth and final round of the HSBC Sevens World Series 2012/ 13, the Marriott London Sevens at Twickenham Stadium this weekend.
Players and coaches from the top 12-ranked Sevens teams in the world attended a tag rugby festival for local primary schools and the Dallaglio Foundation in Barnes, South West London as children were given the opportunity to interact with the teams and get their hands on both the London and World Series trophies.
Having attracted a world record two-day crowd for Rugby Sevens of 103,000 in 2012, the London tournament is on course to break that record in 2013 with 110,000 fans expected by the RFU organisers over 11-12 May.
Hosts England, who finished third last weekend in Glasgow, will face Fiji, Samoa and Argentina in a tough pool.
“It’s great to be heading into London on the back of our third place finish in Glasgow and we are confident that we can carry that form into this weekend – there is no better place to do that than at Twickenham," said Rob Vickerman, England Sevens captain.
“It’s very special playing at the home of England Rugby, combining one of the world’s best 15s rugby stadiums with one of the best Sevens rounds of the Series this year. Everyone is really looking forward to playing in front of our friends and family, a potentially record breaking crowd and a fantastic atmosphere."
Newly confirmed Series champions New Zealand will play Wales, Canada and Kenya in pool play, while Glasgow champions South Africa drew USA, Australia and France.
After the penultimate round of the Series, New Zealand have 151 points, an unassailable lead from second-placed South Africa (122). Fiji lie third (108) ahead of Samoa (99) and Kenya (84).
Core team qualifying
While the top 12 teams in the Series standings will contest the main Cup competition at Twickenham, eight other sides will compete in a crucial qualifier aiming to win, or win back, core team status on the 2013/14 Series.
Scotland will line up in London along with Portugal and Spain needing to win back core team status next season. The Scots face pool matches against Hong Kong, Zimbabwe and Georgia, while Portugal and Spain line up in Pool B with Tonga and RWC Sevens hosts, Russia.
POOLS & FIXTURES, LONDON CORE TEAM QUALIFIER >>
SERIES QUALIFYING EXPLAINED >>
There will be a separate captain's photo on Thursday 9 May with the eight teams vying for core team status in 2013/14. The IRB will make photos and quotes from that session available on irbsevens.com.