Reigning champions Wales handed tough Fiji test in Rugby World Cup Sevens draw
Thursday, 28 February 2013
February 28 - The draw for the 2013 IRB Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow threw up some interesting ties today, including defending Champions Wales against two-time winners Fiji in Pool E of the 2013 tournament in Russia this June, along with Uruguay and Tonga.
England were also handed a challenging tie as they face 2009 runners-up Argentina in the pool, though on paper, they should have little trouble getting past fellow Pool F members Hong Kong and Portugal.
The host nation Russia will take on Scotland, South Africa and Japan in Pool B, whilst the United States will face fellow North Americans Canada in Pool D, along with the All-Blacks of New Zealand and Georgia.
Both beaten 2009 semi-finalists Kenya and Samoa will clash in Pool C, which also features Zimbabwe and Philippines, who have been handed a daunting pool in their first ever Sevens World Cup Finals.
Two-time beaten finalists Australia will face France, Spain and Tunisia in what should be a relatively straight-forward Pool A for the Wallabies.
Each group in the men's tournament will see the top team progress to the next round, with the two best-place runners-up also qualifying for the quarter-finals.
The women's World Cup sees defending champions Australia, who won the inaugural event in 2009, take on beaten semi-finalists South Africa in Pool B, along with China, and Ireland, who have qualified for the first time.
Finalists New Zealand are drawn in Pool A against Tunisia, the Netherlands and Canada, with the host nation Russia drawn against quarter-finalists England and France, as well as Japan in Pool D.
Semi-finalists US will face Spain, Brazil and Fiji in Pool C.
The top two teams from each group will progress to the quarter-finals in the women's tournament.
The tournaments are due to take place from June 28-30 at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium, which hosted the 1980 Olympics.
It is due to be the final World Cup event before the event is disbanded so that the Olympics becomes the pinnacle of the sport.
"We know from past experience that this is going to be an exciting tournament, full of sporting endeavour, passion, camaraderie and skill." said Rugby World Cup Limited chairman Bernard Lapasset
"As we continue to look forward to rugby sevens' Olympic Games debut at Rio 2016, I am confident that Moscow 2013 will be a resounding success.
"The IRB is determined to take rugby to new frontiers.
"We want to explore new lands and spread the word of rugby and Russia is at the very centre of that mission."
"This tournament will be accessible, it will be affordable and, most of all, it will be fun.
"I urge sports fans from Moscow and beyond to come and sample the unique party atmosphere that is associated with Rugby Sevens."