Friday 20th July 2018

Event of the day: Day one of the Rugby World Cup Sevens

Our event of the day is day one of the Rugby World Cup Sevens at AT&T Park in San Francisco. The three-day tournament will consist of both Men’s and Women’s competitions and will feature a total of 29 nations. New Zealand are the defending champions as both their Men’s and Women’s teams claimed victory in 2013 when it was last held in Russia. New Zealand, a perennial powerhouse in the sport of rugby, enter this year’s event as early favourites in both competitions. Other challengers in the men’s tournament include the 2018 World Series winner, South Africa, as well as Fiji, England and Australia. Another squad to keep an eye on will be the host nation United States. The US have built a solid rugby program in recent years and will be fuelled by playing at home in front of their fans. In the women’s event, Australia and Canada both have a great chance for the title. 

Sevens rugby is a thrilling, fast paced form of rugby that consists of two seven minute halves. Those who play the sport at the highest level have to be extremely fit, remarkably agile, powerful yet speedy. Notable players to watch for in the Men’s division will be Canadian fly half Nathan Hirayama; Fijian Jerry Tuwai; Kenyan veteran Collins Injera; England legend, winger Dan Norton; and the Captain of South Africa, Philip Snyman. On the women’s side, high flyer Naya Tapper from the US will be one to keep an eye on. On the Japanese squad, Captain Chiharu Nakamura is a treat to watch out on the pitch. There will no doubt be plenty of talent on display in the Bay Area over the next three days. As today is the opening day of the tournament, players will be fresh and raring to go. It should be an amazing first day of exciting, fast-paced end to end action.

Honourable mentions around the globe go to the Super Rugby quarter-final matchup between the Chiefs and the Hurricanes at Westpac Stadium in Wellington. The Hurricanes have lost four of their last five meetings and were handed a loss by the Chiefs last week in the regular season finale. As today’s match is on the Hurricanes home ground however they should have a slight advantage. Also of interest is the IAAF Diamond League annual Herculis track and field event at State Lous II in Monaco. Considered one of the marquee meetings year in and year out, Herculis will feature Olympic level athletes competing in a special setting on the french Riviera. In International cricket, Pakistan continues their Tour of Zimbabwe as the two nations play their fourth ODI at the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo. South Africa face Sri Lanka in the opening day of their second test match at Sinhalese Sports Club Ground in Colombo. There are eight Natwest T20 Blast matches on the docket today including a tasty matchup between Surrey and Kent at the St. Lawrence Ground in Canterbury. The 13th stage of the Tour de France commences in Bourg d’Oisans and finishes in Valence. Lastly, it is Day 2 of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland. 

Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!

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Photos by World Rugby

 

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