More changes in Hamilton Sevens

By eric odanga
Dec 21, 2019
  • Kenya celebrate scoring a try against South Africa in Cape Town. World Rugby has made more changes for Hamilton Sevens. (Photo Courtesy)

The shockwaves which surround the implementation of a new format by the World Rugby Sevens World Series continues to draw sharp reactions from the rugby fraternity.

In a space of one month, World Rugby has announced radical changes which has sparked a debate about the reasons behind the changes.

A few days after World Rugby announced the introduction of a new Challenge Series targeting tier two countries, the release of an abridged version of the third leg in Hamilton, New Zealand on January 25 and 26.

According to the fixtures, the top teams in each pool will proceed to the semi-finals of the main cup. As a result, World Rugby has dropped the main cup quarter final. The number of matches has been reduced to 34 with placement matches for the teams which fail to win in their pools.

In Hamilton, the women’s competition will also be played according to the new format. Although rugby lovers have faulted the new format, it is unlikely that World Rugby will make any changes to accommodate the concerns or address the resources imbalance among the core teams.

Last season, experienced players in the Kenya team declined to don the national jersey unless their concerns about unpaid allowances was addressed.

As a result, Kenya Rugby Union depended on fringe players who just managed to uphold the core status. Other tier two countries are equally struggling to get more quality competition under their belt despite an economic crunch.

Hamilton Sevens Draw

Pool A: New Zealand, Scotland, USA, Wales; Pool B: South Africa, Kenya, England, Japan; Pool C: France, Ireland, Canada, Spain; Pool D: Fiji, Argentina, Australia, Samoa.

Order of play: Ireland v Canada, France v Spain, Kenya v England, South Africa v Japan, Argentina v Australia, Fiji v Samoa, Scotland v USA, New Zealand v Wales, Ireland v Spain, France v Canada, Kenya v Japan, South Africa v England, Argentina v Samoa, Fiji v Australia, Scotland v Wales, New Zealand v USA, Canada v Spain, France v Ireland, England v Japan, South Africa v Kenya, Australia v Samoa, Fiji v Argentina, USA v Wales, New Zealand v Scotland; B1 v C1, A1 v D1, 3rd Best 4th v 4th best 4th (15th place play-off), Best 4th v 2nd Best 4th (13th place play-off), 3rd Best 3rd v 4th Best 3rd (11th place play-off), Best 3rd v 2nd Best 3rd (9th place play-off), 3rd Best 2nd v 4th Best 2nd (7th place play-off), Best 2nd v 2nd Best 2nd (5th place play-off),