Source: World Rugby

Top teams face tough pools in Brazil

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New Zealand and Australia are top of the standings after Dubai but will face difficult match-ups in Brazil.

The draw for the second round of the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series will see the top teams face difficult pool clashes in Brazil in February.

At the last round in Dubai, New Zealand continued their intense rivalry against Australia with another thrilling cup final, which was claimed by the Kiwis with the last play of the match.

However, it was the improvement of teams such as Russia and France that also grabbed the headlines during round one, with both teams making great strides from last season.

France ran New Zealand close in the semi-final in Dubai and they meet again in Pool A, alongside USA and Spain. Pool B will see Australia play Fiji, who forced England to extra time in a memorable plate final in Dubai, along with hosts Brazil and China.

Pool C makes for some interesting clashes with Canada, England and Russia all set to do battle in Sao Paulo in February, along with South Africa.

With less than two years to the Olympics Games in Rio de Janeiro, rugby returns to Brazil on 7-8 February with round two of the women’s series kicking off in Sao Paulo. This season will see the top four teams qualify for the Rio Games in 2016, and as a result, the competition has already seen a step up in intensity, energy and skill levels.

Last year’s event at the Arena Barueri saw passionate crowds turn out for the first ever series event in the world’s sixth largest city, and organisers are hopeful of even larger crowds in 2015.

All rounds of the 2014-15 season will be live streamed on with geo blocking applying in some areas. The action from round two in Sao Paulo gets underway at 11:00 local time, with Fiji taking on China.