2021-22 HSBC World Sevens Rugby Series Singapore
Venue: National Stadium, Kallang, Singapore
Event Date: Saturday, 9 April – Sunday, 10 April
It has been a long time since the HSBC World Sevens Rugby Series has felt complete. A tour that spans the globe was always going to be hard hit by Covid-19 and that proved to be so with a number of cancellations and postponements early in the pandemic. What has almost hurt the series more, however, has been how long it has taken a key member to return.
That return will take place this weekend as New Zealand is back in action for the first time in over two years. Their last event was in Vancouver back in March 2020 and their return is a welcome one. They will be joined in entering back into the series by Samoa (out almost as long as New Zealand) and Fiji (out since Nover 2021 in Dubai). It will be fascinating to see how these three teams in particular perform at this classic rugby sevens location.
This is the fifth event of the season following two in Dubai in November and two in Spain in January. Given the addition of New Zealand and the reintroduction of Fiji, however, it really does feel like the season is getting properly started here. Here is a look at the odds with BetXchange for some of the opening matches.
Ireland VS Fiji
Fiji (2/11) rejoins to face an Ireland (4/1) team that has probably been better overall than expected in the series so far. This is a tough group – probably the most top-heavy of the four – that also contains an eccentrically dangerous French team. You want to play Fiji first in a pool like this, but the Pacific Islanders will have too much for Ireland over the course of 14 minutes here.
Argentina VS New Zealand
The pick of the first round of pool play here as returning New Zealand (9/20) takes on an Argentina (39/20) side that has finished second once and third three times in events this season. They are second in the series heading into Singapore and get New Zealand first up at the time they would seem most rugby and most vulnerable. It feels like the South Americans are worth a punt at that price given we don’t know how New Zealand will be.
USA VS Kenya
USA (2/9) always puts out a good sevens squad, while Kenya (15/4) hasn’t really moved on from the point a few years ago where they looked like they could become a consistent force. The Americans finished second at the opening round event in Dubai and I actually like them to podium here too. Take the Americans to get off to a great start.
South Africa VS Canada
In the absence of New Zealand and Fiji, this has been a series that has belonged to South Africa. The Blitzbokke have taken a perfect 88 points from 88 so far as they have won each of the four tournaments contested to date. They are also the defending champions here having won back in 2019. The group shouldn’t be much trouble with the USA the only real threat and there is a reason they are off the board with BetXchange to win this opener.