The HSBC international sevens series moves onto the new venue of Tokyo following a hugely successful Hong Kong leg which saw a record TV audience for a sevens event.
Tokyo will host its first tournament after being awarded the new stop in a move, which is aimed at further promoting the sport in Asia. Having played in Japan myself and considering the nations history in the sport it seems strange that it has not already boasted a series stop.
Going into the round, New Zealand remain top having reached their 5th final of the series, losing out to an emotionally charged Fijian side whom were tipped for the win by yours truly.
- New Zealand 111 points
- Fiji – 109 points
- South Africa
This is one of the closest run series yet with all of the top five teams within touching distance.
The group stages in Tokyo will see a semi final repeat of England Fiji, in pool A. Arguably the pool of death with France and Japan completing the group. England have beaten the South Sea islanders in the past, most notably in the Final of the Dubai leg, however they face a team on form and raring to go following their win in Hong Kong.
Other big match ups see Samoa face South Africa and Argentina Kenya in a pool which also features Wales and Portugal.
Pool A: Fiji, England, France, Japan
Pool B: New Zealand, Australia, United States, Hong Kong
Pool C: Argentina, Wales, Kenya, Russia
Pool D: South Africa, Samoa, Scotland, Portugal