The HSBC London Sevens quarter-finals have been confirmed following a dramatic opening day at the Twickenham Stadium where both Australia and Samoa kept their dreams alive for the last Paris 2024 Olympic Games spot, while the 12th and final core team on the World Rugby Sevens Series 2024 will be decided on Sunday.
- Australia and Samoa still in the hunt for the final Paris 2024 Olympic spot
- HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2023 champions New Zealand make a perfect start in pursuit of their first London title since 2014
- Hosts Great Britain overcome South Africa and USA to qualify for the cup quarter-finals
- Quarter-finals confirmed: Argentina v Ireland, Samoa v Great Britain, Fiji v Australia, New Zealand v France
- Canada, Kenya, Tonga and Uruguay still in the running for the 12th and final spot in the World Rugby Sevens Series 2024 Play-off
- Play gets under way at 09:45 local time (GMT+1) on Sunday with the cup quarter-finals before the semi-finals start at 13:33, and cup final at 17:26
The HSBC London Sevens quarter-finals have been confirmed following a dramatic opening day at the Twickenham Stadium where both Australia and Samoa kept their dreams alive for the last Paris 2024 Olympic Games spot, while the 12th and final core team position on the World Rugby Sevens Series 2024 will be decided on Sunday.
In Pool A, New Zealand, who have already clinched the overall HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2023 title for the 14th time in their history, continued their excellent form this season with wins over USA, Great Britain and South Africa to top pool B ahead of Sunday’s knockout rounds. They have not been crowned winners in London in almost 10 years, something they will be seeking to put right on Sunday.
Cheered on by a raucous home crowd of more than 50,000 fans, home side Great Britain secured progress through to the cup quarter-finals with a strong win over South Africa’s Blitzboks 19-15 and USA 21-19.
Argentina, Fiji and Ireland all qualified for Sunday’s quarter-finals with two wins from three to finish the day level on seven pool points in Pool B.
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Both Samoa and Australia, along with France, will advance to the knockout stages from Pool C.
With a nine point cushion over next-best Samoa leading into this weekend’s Series finale, Australia started the day as favourites to clinch the final men’s Paris 2024 Olympic qualification place.
The Aussies started their campaign with a 33-12 victory over Spain in the opening game of the day but a 24-14 defeat to their main rivals for the final ticket to Paris, Samoa, means that it will be all to play for on Sunday.
A quarter-final victory on Saturday or a fifth place finish will be enough for Australia to secure the last Olympic place, but Samoa can snatch it from them by winning the London title and hoping Australia finish sixth or lower, or with a difference of 10 points in favour of the Pacific islanders at the end of London.
South Africa also had a chance of making it to Paris 2024 at the start of the day but a third place finish in pool B thanks to losses to New Zealand and Great Britain and a draw with USA ended their chances.
Perhaps the greatest drama of Sunday will be found in the World Rugby Sevens Series 2024 Play-off where four teams – Canada, Kenya, Uruguay and Tonga – are still in the running for just one place on the 2024 Series.
Kenya sit atop the standings after day one with wins over Tonga 38-26 and Canada 24-19, while Canada pulled off a come-from-behind win over Uruguay to keep their hopes alive.
On Sunday morning Kenya will face Uruguay, while Canada takes on Tonga in the final two matches of the round-robin with the best two ranked sides after the pool phase meeting in the deciding match ahead of the cup final.
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Play gets under way at 09:45 local time (GMT+1) on Sunday with the quarter-finals before the semi-finals start at 13:33. The World Rugby Sevens Series 2024 Play-off final kicks off at 16:56 before the cup final at 17:26.
Tickets for the final day of the HSBC London Sevens are available at www.twickenhamstadium.com/hsbc-london-sevens/tickets
Rugby sevens fans around the world can watch the action via live stream www.world.rugby in countries where there is no national broadcaster covering the event.
With the Series concluding on Sunday, participating teams present in London will attend the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series Awards in the evening to recognise and celebrate the achievements of those involved in the 2023 competition. – WORLD RUGBY