We’ve come to the end of another season of rugby. As the summer begins we enter into the more casual Rugby 7s season where people creating their personal social, and social competitive teams. As people gather to play to stay fit, travel, and socialize with the rugby friends, we are reminded that in just a little over a year from now, the 2018 Sevens Rugby World Cup will be kicking off in San Francisco. This will be one of the largest rugby events to be played in the USA. As we look forward to next year’s sevens events, there are plenty of things to look forward to.
The 2016/2017 HSBC Sevens Series concluded with South Africa, England, Fiji, New Zealand and USA finishing in the top 5 of the rankings. Each of these teams have shown some level of dominance during the Sevens series and they each have a great chance of being able to take the Melrose Cup at the Sevens RWC. What these teams do during this next year will be a marker for what they do for the Rugby World Cup Sevens.
Most will expect South Africa, England, Fiji and New Zealand to be the current favorites to win the Melrose Cup next year, but you cannot underestimate the potential of the USA. The USA, led by the current season points and tries leader in Perry Baker, and the third leading scorer and second leading points converter in Madison Hughes, will look to get back injured speedster, Carlin Isles for the RWC. Carlin Isles, who was injured this HSBC Sevens Series season, has been putting in the rehab work to get back on the field. While South Africa maintains an all star line up led by, Cecil Afrika and Roscoe Specman, England withthe dynamo in Dan Norton, Fiji using an onslaught of options from Kailone Nasoko to Jerry Tuwai, and New Zealand with Sherwin Stowers and Tim Mikkelson, the USA is as talented as any other team.
The USA may only have a 30/1 projection of winning the Sevens Rugby World Cup next summer, but don’t stay away from watching it. Use this summer to get all the 7s play in you can, because come July, you’ll have a chance to take in the most exciting version of international rugby sevens since the Olympics. The odds could very well be in your favor.