RUGBY Preview: Women’s Sevens Series starts in Colorado

The 2018-19 season in the HSBC Women’s Sevens Series will start with a new tournament at Infinity Park in Glendale, Colorado (pictured), a small city southwest of Denver, on Saturday.

It’s not only the first stop for this season, but also the beginning of the qualification process for the Sevens competition at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. The top four teams in both the men’s and women’s tour for 2018-19 will qualify for the Games.

In terms of the Sevens Series for women, there will be six tournaments this season, an increase of one. The 12 teams will, as always, start in pools (with final placings from last season):

∙ Pool A: Australia (1), Mexico (dnc), Russia (6), Spain (7)
∙ Pool B: China (12), England (8), New Zealand (2), United States (5)
∙ Pool C: Canada (4), Fiji (9), France (3), Ireland (10)

This is the seventh year of the women’s Sevens Series, with Australia winning for the second time in three years in 2017-18. Only two teams – New Zealand and Australia – have won, with the Kiwis taking the first three titles and the 2016-17 title. Last season was the first that Canada did not place in the top three; the best-ever U.S. finish was fourth in the 2012-13 campaign (and fifth or sixth the last four years).

Australia piled up 92 points to win last season, ahead of New Zealand (90), France (68), Canada (60) and the U.S. (56). The U.S. did not host a Sevens Series event last season, but had hosted in four of the prior five years; the last U.S.-based women’s Sevens event was in Las Vegas in the 2016-17 season.

Look for results here.