Getty

Men’s squad announcements for RWC Sevens 2018

1 Comment

The Rugby World Cup Sevens announced squad listings that will compete in the tournament, beginning July 20 in San Francisco.

Captain Philip Snyman of South Africa will make his third appearance (2009, 2013, and 2018) at the Rugby World Cup Sevens. Despite the wealth of experience provided by Snyman, the rest of the squad is relatively new to the Rugby World Cup Sevens.

Defending champions New Zealand will look to repeat, though they will only return two of their players, Captain Tim Mikkelson and Kurt Baker, from the 2013 winning side from Moscow.

“I am pleased with the squad,” noted New Zealand coach Neil Powell. “We do not have the greatest of records in this tournament, but that said, we know we will be a very competitive team if we play to our strengths and within our game plan. It is exciting times for all of us and we are ready to do our best for our country,” A slew of injuries and absences may hinder the All Blacks efforts this time around in San Francisco.

England, seeded fourth, brings 10 bronze medalists from the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and six silver medalists from the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Australia (seeded No. 6) and Scotland (seeded No. 8) are both dark-horse contenders, with young squads that lack World Cup Sevens experience. Lewis Holland and Jesse Parahi will both feature for Australia, while San Francisco will mark Scotland’s Scott Riddell third appearance at the tournament.

The full squads are listed below:

South Africa Squad: Ryan Oosthuizen, Philip Snyman (captain), Dylan Sage, Zain Davids, Werner Kok, Heino Bezuidenhout, Dewald Human, Rosko Specman, Justin Geduld, Selvyn Davids, Siviwe Soyizwapi, Ruhan Nel.

New Zealand Squad: Kurt Baker, Dylan Collier, Scott Curry (captain), Trael Joass, Andrew Knewstubb, Jona Nareki, Tim Mikkelson (captain), Sione Molia, Salesi Rayasi, Joe Ravouvou, Akuila Rokolisoa, Regan Ware.

England Squad: Phil Burgess, Alex Davis, Richard de Carpentier, Will Edwards, Mike Ellery, Harry Glover, Ollie Lindsay-Hague, Ruaridh McConnochie, Tom Mitchell (captain), Will Muir, Dan Norton, James Rodwell.

Australia Squad: Lachlan Anderson, Tim Anstee, Lewis Holland (captain), Henry Hutchison, Boyd Killingworth, Maurice Longbottom, Lloyd McDermott, Tom Lucas, Liam McNamara, Sam Myers, Ben O’Donnell, Jesse Parahi, 44 caps, John Porch*, Brandon Quinn.

Scotland Squad: Scott Riddell (captain), Nyle Godsmark, Jo Nayacavou, Jack Cuthbert, Alec Coombes, Robbie Fergusson, Gavin Lowe, Craig Jackson, Harvey Elms, Max McFarland, Jamie Farndale, Sam Pecquer.

Kenya Squad: Oscar Ayodi (captain), Collins Injera, Andrew Amonde, William Ambaka, Samuel Oliech, Nelson Oyoo,  Dennis Ombachi, Jeff Oluoch, Brian Tanga, Eden Agero, Herman Humwa, Samuel Ng’ethe.

Japan Squad: Dai Ozawa, Ryoto Kano, Joe Kamana, Katsuyuki Sakai, Jone Naikabulam Jose Seru, Kameli Raravou Soejima, Tevita Tupou, Kosuke Hashino, Taisei Hayashi, Chihito Matsui, Taichi Yoshizawa, Josefa Lilidamu.

Ireland Squad: Robert Baloucoune, Jordan Conroy, Shane Daly, Billy Dardis (captain), Ian Fitzpatrick, Foster Horan, Hugo Keenan, Terry Kennedy, Harry McNulty, Bryan Mollen, Jimmy O’Brien, John O’Donnell, Greg O’Shea.

Uruguay Squad:  Joaquín Alonso, Diego Ardao, Manuel Ardao, Felipe Etcheverry, Nicolás Freitas, Juanjuan Garese, Valentín Grille, Guillermo Lietjenstein, Gastón Mieres, Eugenio Plottier, Gabriel Puig (captain), Sebastián Schroeder.
Further squads will be published as they are announced.

New Zealand repeat as Women’s Rugby World Cup champions

Leave a comment

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Black Ferns stood shoulder to shoulder Saturday as their national anthem played and day turned to dusk by the San Francisco Bay. About 30 minutes later they stood shoulder to shoulder again, this time atop a podium with gold medals draped around their necks.

The final was one-way traffic as New Zealand blanked France 29-0 and became the first country to repeat as Women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens champions.

Tournament high scorer Michaela Blyde added three more tries to her total as she finished with nine tries and 45 points. But this championship run was founded on a stout defense. The final marked the third shutout of the tournament for New Zealand after they outlasted host United States in a tense 26-21 semifinal win earlier in the day.

“To be here at a Rugby World Cup, come away with the win and retain the title_we’ve made history now,” Blyde. “We’re pretty happy with ourselves.”

Sixth-seeded France arrived in the final after stunning No. 2 seed Australia with a 19-12 win. France’s David Courteix was named coach of the tournament after leading his side past third-ranked Canada and Australia to reach the final.

“I’m very proud of the players each time,” Courteix said. “I think with the new (knockout) format there was a lot of pressure. I am very proud of their attitude.”

Australia edged USA 24-14 to claim the bronze medal with Elia Green scoring a brace of tries for the Olympic champions.

England beat hosts USA to advance to semis at RWC Sevens

Leave a comment

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — English captain Tom Mitchell found some space on the pitch about 30 meters away from the try line. He glanced to his left and saw a big patch of open field so he lofted a high kick toward the sideline.

Phil Burgess did the rest.

The English flanker caught the ball at full pace and outran a diving defender before touching down to secure a 24-19 sudden-death win in extra-time against host United States in the Rugby World Cup Sevens quarterfinals on Saturday.

“A ridiculous kick by ‘Mitch’ in that kind of cauldron,” said teammate Dan Norton.

England needed extra time to win after Perry Baker streaked down the field to score a match-leveling try with about 2:30 left in regulation time. After winning the Las Vegas leg of the Rugby Sevens World Series earlier this year, USA entered with title aspirations and enjoyed the support of a raucous home crowd at AT&T Park, home to baseball’s San Francisco Giants, but can now finish no better than fifth.

“We pride ourselves on being best in the world at the restart,” said American prop Danny Barrett, “but they got us there.”

Burgess’ try marked the most scintillating sequence of Saturday’s action.

England’s win sends them to Sunday’s first semifinal against top seed South Africa, which cruised to a 36-5 win over Scotland, which second-seeded Fiji dominated Argentina 43-7 in another quarterfinal.

Third-seeded New Zealand overcame three first-half yellow cards to prevent an upset from No. 11 seed France in a sloppy 12-7 victory.

“We played terrible,” All Blacks coach Clark Laidlaw said. “But in knockout format, who cares? We managed to find a way to win.”

The All Blacks won’t be able to get away with the same mistakes against a humming Fiji squad in Sunday’s semifinal. Fiji and New Zealand are both vying to become the first three-time winners of the Melrose Cup.

“They’ve got a lot of rockstars in there,” Laidlaw said. “I guess everybody sees them as favorites.”

South Africa claimed their second straight world series title in June after leaping past Fiji on the final day of action and the two could meet in Sunday’s final. The Blitzboks feature the tournament’s top two scorers in Siviwe Soyizwapi (25 points) and Justin Gedlund (22).

Each of the 24 men’s squads only played one match on Saturday. Laidlaw criticized the format of the tournament and how his team will only play one match in a span of about 40 hours.

“Not sevens is it?” Laidlaw said. “I don’t know what sport we’re trying to create. But it’s the same for everybody, so we’ve got to get on with it.”

New Zealand repeated as world cup champions on the women’s side of the tournament with a 29-0 victory over France while Australia topped the United States 24-14 in the bronze medal game.