Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: 2019/20 HSBC World Sevens Series: Outright Preview

2019/20 HSBC World Sevens Series: Outright Preview

Seabelo Senatla of South Africa scores a try during match between South Africa and Russia at the HSBC Paris Sevens
Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sport

Darry Worthington takes a look at how the world's best Sevens sides are shaping up prior to the start of the season. He also gives his verdict on who he reckons will win the title this season.

The year may fast be approaching it's close but there's still plenty of rugby action to come including the start of the 2019/20 HSBC Sevens World Series. The Series is known for its festival-like atmosphere and electrifying rugby. And there's no doubting we'll see colourful crowds and excellent action over the course of this season.

To Win Series Outright
Fiji 7/4
USA 5/2
New Zealand 4/1
South Africa 4/1
England 12/1
Australia 20/1
Argentina 40/1


Contenders

Fiji
2018/19 Finish: Champions

The Flying Fijians will be looking to bag their fifth Sevens Series title this coming season. The men from the Pacific Islands were in solid form last term winning five tournaments while finishing as runners-up in at one. They saw off runners-up, the United States, by nine points due to winning the last two legs of the Series.

The Fijians have lost a few stars but they have a conveyor belt f Sevens talent and they will be just as good as they were last season, especially with a few big-name Fijian rugby stars possibly coming out to play with the Tokyo Olympics on the horizon.

Player to Watch: Waisea Nacuqu
The speedster is a real game-changer, and while Fiji aren't short of those sorts of players he is something special.

United States
2018/19 Finish: Runners-Up

Last season saw the United States announce themselves as real title challengers. The Americans finished the tournament only nine points off the Fijians and some 15 points clear of third-placed New Zealand. They did this by being far more consistent than previous editions of the team as they won one tournament while finishing as runners-up a staggering four events.

The United States are a really experienced team and they only be more confident after what they achieved last term.

Player to Watch: Carlon Isles
The 30-year old took full advantage of Perry Baker's injury issues and reminded everyone while he was the States' key man prior to Baker hitting top form. Expect big things again from Isles.

South Africa
2018/19 Finish: Third

Last season was a rather disappointing one for the South Africans, but their fall down the pecking order of Sevens rugby had been brewing for a few years now.

The Blitzboks were only able to win two tournaments last season and once again failed to claim to register a win home soil as they finished third at the Cape Town leg.

Neil Powell did blood a lot of new players last year. This added experience should bode well for what is a Blitzboks side that looked rather green in 2018/19. 

Player to Watch: Seabelo Senatla
The wingers return fro the Blitzboks is a timely one as they have really missed his finishing capabilities while he was off trying to make a XV's career. Expect the Western Province man to make a big impact from the start. He will be joined by fellow XV's hopefuls Roskoe Speckman and Dylan Sage.

Dark Horse

Australia
2018/19 Finish: Seventh

The Australians endured a tough old season last out and filed to win a tournament while only finishing as runner-up at one.

There is hope, however, as there is a whole host of up and coming talent for the Australians to call upon. They also have a number of veterans who are in their prime.

Verdict: South Africa 4/1
I'm expecting the return on Senatla and Co. to coincide with a return to glory for the Blitzboks. They'll give this solid South African an extra edge. 

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