The top five women’s teams in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2020 will all go into the deciding round of pool matches at the HSBC New Zealand Sevens in Hamilton unbeaten after day one at FMG Stadium.
Hosts and series leaders New Zealand, Olympic champions Australia and France currently sit top of their respective pools, the latter two on points difference only from USA and Canada respectively, after all enjoyed two victories from two on Saturday.
Fiji and China were the two other winners on the opening day of the first ever women’s series event in New Zealand, Fiji having held on to beat England in their opener after a impressive first-half display but then lost to 19-12 to the weekend’s invitational side China thanks a late brace by Yang Feifei.
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The pool stage concludes on 26 January after which the three teams topping their respective pools and the best runner-up will progress straight to the Cup semi-finals. The other teams will go into play-offs to determine the rankings from fifth to 12th.
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This weekend’s tournament is the first women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series event to be held in New Zealand and comes as World Rugby has expanded the women’s series to a record eight rounds this season.
The 2020 women’s series has already toured to the USA, Dubai and Cape Town, the latter two and Hamilton being combined men’s and women’s events.
Hamilton also marks the start of an Olympic year for rugby sevens where it will be played as part of the Olympic Games programme for the second time in Tokyo this summer.
The action in Hamilton gets back underway at 08:45 local time (GMT+13) on 26 January with Spain’s Pool C encounter against Ireland.