The world’s best rugby sevens players are in
Vancouver for the HSBC Canada Sevens which takes place this
weekend, from 3-5
The 28 men’s and women’s team captains gathered on Wednesday on the traditional
territory of Tsleil-Waututh Nation for the traditional photo shoot ahead of kick off on Friday.
It is the first time that the
women’s Series join the men at BC Place Stadium as
the race for Series glory and Olympic qualification heats up.
New Zealand’s Black Ferns Sevens and All
Blacks Sevens lead the current Series standings and arrive in
confident mood having won the last three women’s events and two
men’s events respectively.
New Zealand’s women’s team reaches the cup finals in Vancouver
this weekend, they will be
the second nation to officially qualify for Paris 2024 after
France, who have a spot secured as hosts.
The 28 men’s and women’s team captains gathered on Wednesday on the traditional territory of Tsleil-Waututh Nation for the traditional photo shoot ahead of kick off on Friday.
“It’s been amazing being in a new city in Canada,
we love coming here and to be able to play at BC Place – we went
to the stadium yesterday and had a run around against Canada –
it’s an amazing stadium and we’re looking forward to the weekend,
said Black Ferns women’s captain. Sarah Goss. “I have only seen that [New Zealand can
qualify for Paris 2024] in the media and we haven’t actually
talked about that as a team. We’re just trying to get better and
better as the tournament goes along and we’re very happy with how
we’re sitting but we probably won’t be too happy unless we
continue that momentum we’ve already built.”
Series is shaping up to be the most competitive in history with
the prize of Olympic Games Paris 2024 qualification on offer for
the top four women’s and men’s teams in the 2023 Series standings,
while hosts France have pre-qualified for next year’s pinnacle
event in the nation’s capital.
The men’s Series has seen
five different gold medal winners (Argentina, Australia, New
Zealand, Samoa and South Africa) in the six rounds to date.
New Zealand sit firmly on top of the women’s leader board with
78 points, having won the last three tournaments in Sydney,
Hamilton and Cape Town. Australia, the only other nation to have
won a tournament in Dubai, are tied with USA at 66 points each.
The Americans join New Zealand as the only nation to have medalled
at every event this season, while France picked up their first
bronze medal in Sydney.
The stakes couldn’t be
higher at the bottom end of the men’s Series this season as well.
Following the penultimate event in Toulouse, the 15th ranked team
will be relegated to the 2024 Sevens Challenger Series while the
12th through 14th ranked teams will face off against the Sevens
Challenger Series 2023 winner for the 12th and final position on
the 2024 Series.
“Back-to-back tournaments are always tough,
and with the three-day tournament it means one less training day,
but we love coming to Vancouver – it’s always a great crowd so
we’re excited to push on from last week. For us it was great to
get three wins in the pool but disappointing to not win anything
on day two, so we’re really looking forward to putting in another
good performance this weekend, said Harry McNulty, Ireland
Captain. “Every tournament you have to take into
consideration how hard the pools are because it’s been crazy at
the moment when there’s nine teams who can qualify for the four
Olympic spots at the end of the season. So we’re going
tournament-to-tournament in terms of getting our preparation right
but also every tournament means you’re one step closer to the end
of the season so we need to make sure we get the most amount of
points as we can.”
The men’s pools for Vancouver have HSBC
Los Angeles winners New Zealand in Pool A alongside Cape Town
champions Samoa, Spain and the United States. Pool B includes
silver medal winners Argentina with South Africa France and Japan.
Bronze medal winners Fiji will meet Great Britain, Uruguay and
Kenya in Pool C, while Australia lead Pool D alongside Ireland,
Canada and Chile.
women’s pools for Vancouver have New Zealand, Fiji, Great Britain
and Colombia in Pool A. Reigning Series champions Australia will
be looking to bounce back in Pool B against France, Japan and
Spain. Pool C sees the USA together with Ireland, hosts Canada and
begins at 09:15 local time (GMT-8) on Friday, beginning three days
of action-packed world-class rugby sevens, which concludes with
the finals on Sunday evening.
Pictures from 2019 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong
Pictures from 2018 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens,
Pictures from 2017 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens,
Pictures from 2016 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong
Pictures of Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2015,
Pictures of the Asia Rugby Sevens Olympic Games Qualifier in Hong
Pictures of Singha Thailand Sevens 2015,
Pictures from the 2013 British & Irish Lions Tour in Hong Kong,
Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2014,
Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2013,
of Chartis Cup 2012 and
Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2012.
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