The first of the 9 legs of the 2012/13 HSBC Sevens World Series gets underway this weekend on Australia’s Gold Coast, with the captains of the series’ 15 core sides getting together in Surfer’s Paradise to launch this year’s competition.
With Sevens set to make its Olympic debut in 2016 in Rio the global reach of the game is rapidly extending, with next year’s World Cup, a tournament separate from the HSBC Series, taking place in Moscow, and Japan becoming the newest venue to host one of the circuit’s 9 rounds.
Reigning champions New Zealand will be looking to get their season off to a better start than they did last year as they renew their traditional rivalry with fellow sevens-powerhouses Fiji , the Pacific Islanders defeating the men in black in the final of last year’s opening round.
Of note during the 2011/12 competition was the high standard of so many teams. It is of significance that New Zealand, whilst the winners of the overall title, triumphed in only three individual tournaments, with victories spread out around the major nations.
This year’s competition looks set to be just as tight, with England, South Africa, Australia and Samoa set to provide stiff opposition for the Kiwis and the Fijians.