- England Men drawn against Argentina, Portugal and Hong Kong
- England Women face Russia, France and Japan
England’s Sevens teams today (Thursday) learned the identity of their pool stage opponents for this summer’s Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow.
The sixth RWC Sevens tournament takes place on June 28-30 with 24 men’s teams competing for the Melrose Cup and 16 women’s teams playing for the Women’s Rugby World Cup crown.
England Women’s victory in round two of the World Series in Houston earlier this month, which secured their position as number-one seeds for the RWC, has served them reasonably well – they have been drawn against Russia, France and Japan in the pool stages.
Hosts Russia have been regular protagonists over the series and currently sit fourth in the table but England will be pleased to have missed out on Pool A, which is already being labelled as the pool of death. World Series leaders New Zealand are joined in Pool A by the Netherlands, Canada and Tunisia.
England Women’s Head Coach Barry Maddocks said: “This is a tough pool as we face some strong European opposition in Russia and France whilst Japan are a quick and talented footballing side, but certainly I think Pool A will be an interesting pool to watch.
“The bar is being raised at every tournament we go to now and games are only won by the smallest margins. Our priority will be to get through the pool stages as efficiently as we can.”
England’s men, who lifted the inaugural Melrose Cup in 1993, were ranked in the top band of six teams following their performances in recent seasons. They will face familiar rivals in Argentina, Portugal and Hong Kong in Pool F.
Injuries to key men contributed to a slow start to the current campaign but they beat New Zealand, the USA, Spain, Scotland, Samoa and Kenya to lift last month’s Wellington Sevens title.
England Men’s Sevens Head Coach, Ben Ryan, said: “The draw looks pretty balanced for all the pools and it is exciting to know who our opponents are going to be now. We know all our Pool opponents well and it will certainly add a little spice when we play Portugal at the Hong Kong Sevens next month.”
Rugby World Cup Sevens pool draws
The men’s event is split into six pools of four teams with the top team from each pool, together with the two best runners-up progressing to Cup quarter-finals. The defending champions are Wales.
Pool A: Australia, France, Spain, Tunisia
Pool B: South Africa, Scotland, Russia, Japan
Pool C: Samoa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Philippines
Pool D: New Zealand, USA, Canada, Georgia
Pool E: Fiji, Wales, Tonga, Uruguay
Pool F: England, Argentina, Portugal, Hong Kong
The women’s event is split into four pools of four teams with the top two teams from each pool progressing to Cup quarter-finals. The defending champions are Australia.
Pool A: Canada, New Zealand, Netherlands, Tunisia
Pool B: Australia, South Africa, China, Ireland
Pool C: USA, Spain, Brazil, Fiji
Pool D: England, Russia, France, Japan