Spotlight on the Summer Games: Men's Rugby 7s Preview
It’s time to check up on the Men’s Rugby 7s Pools heading into their first games at the Olympics this evening. Rugby 7s can be an unforgiving game, with the culmination of 4 and in this case 5 years of work all balanced on your performance over 14 minutes. These pools make for some really exciting competition and interesting matchups.
Check out the full competition preview on our Instagram
Starting us off, Pool A has New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, and the Republic of South Korea competing for a trip to the quarterfinals.
This is going to be an absolute dog fight for seeding in this pool. It's likely going to end up being a battle of how many points each team can put up against each other, and unfortunately for the Republic of South Korea, each of the other teams will target them as a must-win and must-score-as-many-points-as-possible kind of game.
Men’s Pool B is made up of host country Japan, Great Britain, Canada, and Fiji.
This is going to be an incredibly competitive pool as all of these teams have scored a significant number of tries back and forth over the last 4 years. It's even harder to predict since Great Britain won the silver in 2016 but as a squad only combines every four years. Fiji of course will be heavily favored to repeat as gold medal winners with their dynamic and fan friendly style of play.
In Men’s Pool C Kenya, Ireland, South Africa, and the USA will all be pushing to finish in the top 2 to solidify a spot in the quarterfinals.
If Perry Baker can replicate some of his try scoring prowess that made him the World Rugby Player of the Year in both 2017 and 2018, the USA will have a good shot of finishing first or second in their pool. 2016 Bronze winners South Africa will really push for that one seed in the pool to give them the best opportunity come quarterfinals to put themselves in medal contention again.
Players to watch
In Pool A: Australia’s Maurice Longbottom and New Zealand’s Sione Molia
In Pool B: Fiji's Napolioni Bolaca and Semi Radrada
In Pool C: the Davids—South Africa's Selvyn Davids and Angelo Davids