The penultimate round of the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series 2018 kicks off on Saturday at the Westhills Stadium in Langford.
With Australia currently sitting top of the series standings and New Zealand now only six points behind after they victory in Kitakyushu last month, there is a lot at stake for teams going into the fourth round in Canada.
In Pool A, Fiji and England meet again, having previously played against each other in the pool stages in Kitakyushu. England, ran out winners in Japan, but have made a number of changes to their squad because of injury with Sarah McKenna and Olivia Jones among those coming in. Fiji, meanwhile, have one series debutant in Mereula Torooti in their squad.
New Zealand, the defending series and Canada Women’s Sevens champions, will play invitational side Brazil, who include four debutants in their squad, in their first game of day one.
In Pool B, a much-changed Russia will take on USA in the opening game of the tournament. Both teams last met in the Cup quarter-finals in Sydney with Russia claiming a 19-14 victory. The pool also includes France, who will be looking to back up their performance in Kitakyushu where they reached their first-ever Cup final, and Japan.
Pool C will be hotly-contested with Australia, hosts Canada, Ireland and Kitakyushu semi-finalists Spain involved. Australia and Canada, two of the most successful teams on the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series, are no strangers to meeting in the knockout stages of tournaments, but this will only be the fifth time they meet on day one of a tournament and their encounter is sure to be the most mouth-watering in the opening round of matches.
The action gets underway at 10:30 local time on Saturday (GMT-7) with Russia taking on USA. Follow the action on www.worldrugby.org/sevens and @WorldRugby7s
Lead photo is of Brazilian teenager Eshyllen Ciombra Cardoso
Courtesy of World Rugby