Sixteen captains of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series took to the Capilano Suspension Bridge today as Canada prepares for a blockbuster weekend of sevens rugby.
Vancouver is approaching a sell-out crowd as it prepares to welcome fans through its doors on 10-11 March. The HSBC Canada Sevens is the sixth round of series and teams will be looking to get valuable points which will help them climb the series table and improve their Rugby World Cup Sevens seedings ahead of San Francisco in July.
South Africa currently sit top of the table, but only with a 10 point lead, so it’s all to play for as the 2018 series continues to be hugely competitive with five different winners: South Africa (Dubai), New Zealand (Cape Town), Australia (Sydney), Fiji (Hamilton) and USA (Las Vegas).
Hosts Canada, who narrowly missed out on the Challenge Trophy to France in Las Vegas, will be hoping for a strong start in front of the home crowd and Captain Harry Jones knows Australia will be strong first opponents at BC Place. “It was tough pool for us in Las Vegas and things didn’t go as planned so this week we have been focused on making the week count and putting it right. The boys are really excited about playing in front of a home crowd and for many of us, me included, this is our home town so it makes it a special tournament. For kids to now be growing up and having that aspiration of playing rugby for Canada at BC Place is massive and huge for building grassroots rugby and we hope the crowd really get to enjoy this weekend’s rugby.
“We have a pretty tough pool with USA, Australia and Uruguay who are all strong teams – the USA coming off the back of that big win in Las Vegas, Australia are always tough and have been going really well this year, and Uruguay looked great last weekend. We know we’ve got three hard games but the boys are up for it and we are looking forward to getting out there.”
Speaking at the Capilano Suspension Bridge for the launch of the HSBC Canada Sevens, South Africa Captain, Philip Snyman, knows his side are eager to improve on their Las Vegas efforts, look to extend their series lead and start strong in Pool D alongside New Zealand, Scotland and Russia. “Vancouver is definitely one of our favourite spots and we really enjoy playing here. Going into this weekend it’s half way through the series so for us it is a very important tournament in terms of trying to hold a lead at the top of the table. Last weekend in Las Vegas we lost against Argentina in the semi-final so we want to do better and need to be taking a step further, targeting the final here in Canada.”