HSBC World Seven Series: Paris Preview



The final leg of the 2017/18 HSBC Sevens season will take place in Paris on 9 June 2018.


The World Sevens Series will reach it's close in Paris this weekend and we're in for a thrilling final round with only seven points separating the Series leading Fijians and reigning champions, South Africa. The Fijians seven-point buffer means that they only need a third-place finish to ensure they take the title.

Paris Sevens
Stade Jean Boin
Saturday 9 June - Sunday 10 June

Contenders

South Africa

Pool Opponents: Canada, Russia, and Scotland

The Blitzboks put in yet another admiral performance in London but fell short of the top spot as they went down 21-17 to Fiji in the final. The defeat saw the Fijians extend their lead at the top of the Series standings and has left the Blitzboks with a mountain to climb if they are to retain their title.

The South Africans may come to Paris as reigning tournament champions but they haven't exactly been prolific in France only winning two tournaments out of the 10 held in the country. They need to take that tally to three as it's highly unlikely that the Fijians will finish outside of the top 4 this weekend.

Player to Watch: Werner Kok
The Western Province player had a very industrious tournament out in London, putting in some barnstorming tackles and runs. He offers more grunt in a rather lightweight side, and his physicality will be greatly needed if the South Africans are to finally get one over a Fijian side that has had their number in recent months.  

Fiji

Pool Opponents: New Zealand, Kenya, and Samoa

The Fijians come into the tournament knowing that a third-place finish will be enough to see them claim yet another Sevens Series. The men from the Pacific claimed their fourth successive tournament victory last week, conquering all in sundry out in London. They really did look a cut above the rest at the tournament and I would not be shocked if they make it five tournament victories on the trot out in Paris.

Like South Africa, the Fijians haven't exactly shot the lights out in France winning only the first two editions of the tournament back in the 90's. They managed a runners-up finish at the 2016 edition of the tournament, and this would be enough to secure them the Series title.

Player to Watch: Jerry Tuwai
Captain fantastic. There's no other way to describe the little magician from Suva. He was in scintillating form in London, sparking multiple tries during his sides run to top honours at the tournament. Expect him to spark a multitude of good things for the Fijians again this coming weekend.

Dark Horse

Samoa

Pool Opponents: Fiji, New Zealand, and Kenya

Yes, the Samoans were rather poor in England last week but they did show their quality as they managed to hammer the Blitzboks during the pool stage.

The Samoans have been rather decent at the Paris tournament finishing as runners-up in 2016 and in fifth place last year. They enjoyed some great results at the tournament last year beating the Fijians in the group phase.

A small punt on the Samoans could reap a great dividend this coming weekend.

Verdict: Fiji
They have a very tough pool to get through but I cannot see anyone stopping the Fijians at the moment. 

Written by Darry Worthington for @Hollywoodbets.net

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