IRB Sevens World Series
New Zealand and South Africa face tough draw
December 19, 2008
Tim Nanai-Williams of New Zealand Sevens sprints away to score during the opening day of the Dubai Sevens, November 28 2008
New Zealand Sevens, with Tim Nanai Williams pictured, face a tough draw in Wellington © Getty Images

Reigning IRB Sevens World Series champions New Zealand have been handed a challenging draw for the tournament's next round in Wellington on February 6-7. DJ Forbes' men will face Australia, Wales and a relatively unknown quantity in Pacific Island Niue at Westpac Stadium.

South Africa's outstanding start to the series, taking home the top prize in Dubai and George, has seen them installed as top seeds in Wellington. They face a tough draw too however, with tournament regulars Kenya and Scotland slotting in alongside Tonga, who made the Cup semi-finals at the 2008 tournament.

England are the top seeds in Pool C after finishing runners-up in Dubai and winning the Plate in George, and they will face off against Argentina, France and Canada. Pool D also contains its fair share of tough encounters, with Fiji and Samoa staring down George Cup quarter-finalists USA and the Cook Islands.

Current champions New Zealand have some work to do to make up ground on South Africa, who lead the series on a maximum 40 points, with New Zealand on 28 and England and Fiji tied on 24.

Pools for Wellington leg of The IRB Sevens series on February 6-7:

Pool A: South Africa, Scotland, Kenya, Tonga.

Pool B: New Zealand, Australia, Wales, Niue.

Pool C: England, France, Argentina, Canada.

Pool D: Fiji, United States, Samoa, Cook Islands.


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