Pumas fancied for home win in 7s
January 10, 2002

Los Pumas are hot favourites, according to the local media, to claim their first IRB World Sevens Series win. They reached their first Series final last weekend in Santiago de Chile, whilst their team has been reinforced for the third leg of the 2001-2002 Series by full internationals Agustín Pichot, Felipe Contepomi and Ignacio Corleto.

The confidence of Los Pumas is currently very high and the introduction of Argentina's star players has ensured huge media coverage and organisers are very happy with the ticket sales so far.

This could play well into the hands of the New Zealanders, as they enjoy a low profile as they prepare for tomorrow's matches, with no injury clouds on them or any of the leading sides.

With the Pools decided before the Chile Sevens, in Pool A Argentina will meet New Zealand in the opening round on day one. With France in the same Pool, together with West Indies, it will not be an easy afternoon for any of the teams.

Australia and England should have no problems in advancing to the Cup quarterfinals from Pool B. Chile, will be missing two of its players returned to their clubs in South Africa, and Paraguay - injuries have meant they had to call for replacements.

South Africa and Fiji are seeded in Pool C, but Canada have enough experience and quality players to push them hard. Chester Williams will have to make sure his team are focused, especially when playing Fiji who were winners here last year.

Fiji have not replaced suspended Marika Vunibaka and will enter the tournament with eleven players and will have to work hard to reclaim their deserved place amongst the top teams.

Pool D is also very even, with Samoa and Wales the top seeds and the USA also pushing for further honours. Uruguay will be aiming for a good performance on Saturday.

Mar del Plata, Argentina's top seaside destination, has offered kind weather to the teams and with games being played from 2.30pm (local) to midnight, the many rugby fans that inundate the city will be able to enjoy great action.

Pool A: New Zealand, Argentina, France, West Indies
Pool B: Australia, England, Chile, Paraguay
Pool C: South Africa, Fiji, Canada, Brazil
Pool D: Samoa, Wales, USA, Uruguay

Fixtures (kick-off times are local - GMT -3 hours):
1 D Samoa v USA 2.30pm
2 D Wales v Uruguay 2.52pm
3 C South Africa v Canada 3.14pm
4 C Fiji v Brazil 3.36pm
5 A New Zealand v France 3.58pm
6 A Argentina v West Indies 4.20pm
7 B Australia v Chile 4.42pm
8 B England v Paraguay 5.04pm
9 D Samoa v Uruguay 5.36pm
10 D Wales v USA 5.58pm
11 C South Africa v Brazil 6.20pm
12 C Fiji v Canada 6.42pm
13 A New Zealand v West Indies 7.04pm
14 A Argentina v France 7.26pm.
15 B Australia v Paraguay 7.48pm
16 B England v Chile 8.10pm
17 D USA v Uruguay 8.32pm
18 C Canada v Brazil 8.54pm
19 B France v West Indies 9.16pm
20 A Chile v Paraguay 9.38pm
21 D Samoa v Wales 10.30pm
22 C South Africa v Fiji 10.52pm
23 A New Zealand v Argentina 11.14pm
24 B Australia v England 11.36pm

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