Scots Look To Finish Series On A High

The final leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series takes place this weekend (12 and 13 May), with the Marriott London Sevens at Twickenham.

Scotland are faced with the challenge of Australia, South Africa and Portugal in their Pool as they look to qualify for their first Cup quarter finals of the season.

The tournament draw was made live on television before the Cup final of last weekend’s Emirates Airline Glasgow Sevens, where New Zealand beat this weekend’s home side, 29-14, to lift the Ned Haig Cup.

Currently at ten in the series standings, Scotland lie two points above Kenya and the USA, and some way (29 points) behind ninth-placed France.

The Scots meet Australia first (kick-off 11.14am), a side they last met in Hong Kong in March when the Australians won 29-14. Scotland last beat Australia in May 2008 in Edinburgh (33-7) and the teams met last year and in 2010 in the London Pools – last year Australia narrowly won, 24-21.

 

Next up, (kick-off 2.42pm) is South Africa, who Scotland met at the same stage of the Pools in Glasgow last weekend when South Africa edged it 19-14 – the same scoreline was reversed in May 2010 in Edinburgh, when Scotland beat South Africa in the Plate semi final.

Final Pool opposition is Portugal (kick-off 5.06pm). Scotland have won 12 out of their 22 encounters, and the sides last met in Tokyo in March this year, where Portugal won 15-7. Earlier in this Series the teams met in Dubai where Scotland defeated the Portuguese 19-17 in the Bowl semi final.

Scotland 7s head coach, Graham Shiel, said: "We want to be more competitive in London and to do so we must be at our best all weekend to beat our three opponents.

"South Africa are one of the best teams in the world and we know we have the ability to challenge them, Australia have found form recently winning the tournament in Tokyo and doing extremely well in Glasgow and we have recent knowledge of Portugal from Tokyo, they are a real threat on the world stage."

Shiel has also had to make two changes to his squad with Mark Robertson having suffered a shoulder dislocation on day one in Glasgow and Struan Dewar still recovering from a hamstring injury. Coming in for the injured are Byron McGuigan, for his fifth leg of the HSBC Seven World Series, and Rory Hughes making his debut on the IRB circuit.

Shiel said: "We are disappointed to have lost Mark to injury, but are glad to welcome Byron back into the squad with his experience of the circuit and for Rory to come in for the first time. This is the start of Rory's longer term development as a player, with the intention of increasing his involvement in season 2012/13."

As this World Series draws to a close, Scotland’s Colin Gregor sits third in the points scoring table (219) and second in the goal scoring table (82), 13 points behind New Zealand’s Tomasi Cama.

After narrow defeats to Wales (17-14) and South Africa (19-14) in Glasgow last weekend, Scotland won their final pool game against eventual Bowl winners Russia (33-5), then went on to beat Kenya 19-12 in the Bowl quarter before being seen off 7-10 by Spain in Bowl semi final.

Marriott London 7s – 12 and 13 May 2012

Pool D
Australia
South Africa
Scotland
Portugal

Saturday 12 May
11.14am     Scotland v Portugal
2.42pm      South Africa v Scotland
5.06pm      Scotland v Portugal