25/01/2020 – World Rugby Communications – England first into Cup semi-finals in New Zealand

The All Blacks Sevens, defending champions Fiji and England are the only teams with a perfect record after day one of the HSBC New Zealand Sevens at FMG Stadium in Hamilton on 25 January.

France and Canada, though, are also unbeaten in Pool C after playing out a 12-12 draw in their second match, having already seen off the challenge of Spain and Ireland respectively.

England are already assured of top spot in Pool B following a tense 21-19 victory over Dubai champions South Africa, as even if England lose and the Blitzboks win to both finish on seven points the head-to-head rule will place the Europeans top.

The pool stage concludes on Sunday after which the four teams topping their respective pools will progress straight to the Cup semi-finals in a new competition format where only the teams that top their pools will advance to the semi-finals.

The other teams will go to play-offs to determine the rankings from fifth to 16th.

The action gets underway at 11:07 local time (GMT+13) with Canada's Pool C encounter with Spain.

Hamilton is the third stop on the 2020 men's series following tournaments in Dubai and Cape Town in December. It's one of ten men's tournaments on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and marks the start of an Olympic year as rugby sevens returns to the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer following its successful introduction at Rio 2016.