The captains of the best 12 men’s and 12 women’s rugby sevens teams in the world were soaking up the sun in Western Australia on Wednesday ahead of the hotly anticipated third round of HSBC SVNS 2024 which takes place in Perth on 26-28 January.
Players and fans can look forward to three action-packed days of rugby sevens and buzz-filled nights at HBF Park where fireworks can be expected on and off the pitch as the SVNS festival experience arrives in Perth for the first time ever.
The new-look SVNS competition format means there will be more excitement, jeopardy and drama on the pitch than ever before and fans can look forward to a wealth of entertainment – including headline music acts – around the venue too.
Australia’s women will head into the event brimming with confidence having dominated the opening two rounds with victories in Dubai and Cape Town in December. They lead the standings, six points ahead of France and New Zealand and are set to go for a hattrick of titles on home soil where they will face Canada, Great Britain and South Africa in Pool A.
Rivals and reigning Series and Olympic champions New Zealand will meet the USA, Ireland and Japan in Pool C, while France, Fiji, Brazil and Spain will compete in Pool B of the women’s competition.
The men’s SVNS title race is wide open with Argentina the current standings leaders after claiming gold in Cape Town and silver in Dubai, however South Africa, Fiji, New Zealand, Ireland and hosts Australia all sit within six points of each other, with Australia reaching the final last time out in Cape Town.
Argentina will take on Dubai champions South Africa in Pool A along with Canada and Spain. While Australia’s men will play Ireland, Great Britain and the USA in an exciting looking Pool B. Double Olympic champions Fiji face reigning Series title holders New Zealand as well as France and Samoa in a very competitive Pool C.
Australia women’s captain Charlotte Caslick said: “It’s really exciting to be playing in Perth for the first time and it’s been great to see all the support around the city this week.”
“As a team, we’re super excited for the chance to play at home and look forward to seeing plenty of gold in the stands over the weekend.”
Argentina men’s captain Santiago Álvarez said: “We are very happy to have played the first two tournaments very well, but the season is very long and we still have some things to correct.
“We are enjoying it and trying not to feel the pressure of being at the top. This year is more competitive than ever, every team is very tough and we must be very focused and keep doing what we have been doing until here.
“We are very impressed with Perth, with the city, the beach, the sun and the good atmosphere around here and we are looking forward to getting into the stadium this weekend.”
New Zealand women’s captain Risi Pouri-Lane said: “The team are really pumped to start this Olympic year. It’s the first time here in Perth and we’re really looking forward to it.
“A lot of the girls have a lot of family here so we know we are going to have heaps of support here and we are looking forward to getting started.”
Australia men’s captain Nick Malouf said: “There’s no feeling like being able to represent your country on home soil.
“We’ve had a great week of preparation here in Perth and I know the whole team can’t wait to get out there in front of our supporters on the weekend.”
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