The Sports Examiner

RUGBY Preview: U.S. could clinch a 2020 Olympic berth in Singapore Sevens this weekend

U.S. rugby scoring star Madison Hughes

The season-long goal for the United States men’s Sevens rugby is now within sight: a berth in the 2020 Olympic tournament in Tokyo (JPN).

The top four teams in the 2018-19 Sevens series qualify for Tokyo and going into the eighth leg (of 10), the U.S. finds itself at the top of the list:

1. 130 United States
2. 123 Fiji
3. 118 New Zealand
4. 99 South Africa
5. 90 England

The top places score 22-19-17-15-13-12-10 for the top seven places, so a strong finish could clinch a top-four placing for the Eagles. The pools:

Pool A: Fiji, South Africa, Scotland, Canada
Pool B: France, Argentina, Australia, Hong Kong
Pool C: United States, England, Kenya, Wales
Pool D: Samoa, New Zealand, Japan, Spain

Last season in Singapore, Fiji defeated Australia, 28-22, in the championship match, while England won the bronze medal over South Africa.

The U.S. now has the top two scorers in the series, with Madison Hughes at 216 points and Carlin Isles at 205, both ahead of New Zealand’s Andrew Knewstubb (200) and Australia’s Andrew Porch (175). Isles leads all players in tries with 41, comfortably ahead of Fiji’s Alasio Sovita Naduva, with 30.

Pool play continues into Sunday and the playoffs are in the afternoon. Look for results here.

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