The USA leg of the HSBC World Series will take place in Los Angeles, California, this weekend with the teams all ready and raring to go after taking almost a month off from competition following the last leg of the series in Sydney, Australia. This is the event that has historically taken place in Las Vegas, Nevada, and it will be interesting to see how the change in the location will change the vibe of the sevens showcase.
Here is a breakdown of the event in the pool stages. Looking at the odds for each team to win their pool and advance to the knockout stages on Sunday.
This is an open pool despite the fact that it features the most recent winner on the series in Fiji (0.40) who took the prize in Sydney. An interesting team to watch – and potentially back – here are France (3.50), who have been a very consistent team on the series this season – they have a pair of podium finishes to just one by Fiji – with Argentina (5.50) being disappointing last time out but having pedigree in this form of the game.
Pool B by comparison – would look to be the most locked-down of all the pools as South Africa (0.08) are the heavy, heavy favorites to move through as pool winners. They were the runners up last time out in Sydney as they lost to Fiji in the final and they are playing some excellent sevens rugby with their mix of speed and power. The Blitzboks are still missing some of the household names as they are busy playing Super Rugby, but they should have far too much for pool challengers like Canada and Kenya (both 14.00)
The USA (0.45) will obviously be the fancied team here as they are playing at home and they will have the backing of the vast majority of the fans in attendance in LA. They are another team in pretty good form – they finished an impressive third in Australia – and they are the team that has really done more than any other to improve their standard in this form of the game over the last decade. The USA, though, have not been up to their usual standard overall this year, with their podium in New South Wales being their only such achievement so far this cycle. They are joined in Pool C by teams including Australia (2.50) and Samoa (12.25) who will be looking to spoil the party.
Pool D features two of the heavy hitters in the series, with New Zealand (0.35) and England (1.95) expected to battle for the pool title. They are much more highly fancied than Spain (40.00) and a Wales side that hasn’t performed at all this year. England have plenty of options in their squad and they are actually seeded ahead of New Zealand after they took fourth place in Sydney. New Zealand, however, are the series leaders overall and they will be looking to improve on their fifth-place finish in Australia by winning this pool and putting themselves in the best position possible for the knockout rounds.