NZ draw South Africa in Gold Coast 7s pool
Defending champions New Zealand have drawn South Africa, the US and Canada in their pool for the opening tournament of the new IRB sevens series on the Gold Coast next month.
Gordon Tietjens' men will close the first day of the tournament (October 13-14) at Skilled Park on Queensland's Gold Coast with a heavyweight clash against the South Africans.
That should decide the quarterfinal finishing order for Pool A, with the winner likely to avoid a last-eight matchup against the dangerous Fijians who were second in last season's series.
Hosts Australia have been drawn in a tricky Pool B alongside Fiji, Scotland and Tonga, with competition likely to be pretty intense for the top two spots.
The Australians are attempting to win a home sevens title for the first time since 2002, when they prevailed in Brisbane.
England head Pool C and face 2009-10 series champions Samoa, Spain and Kenya - who are now under the guidance of former England coach Mike Friday.
Argentina were drawn top of Pool D and will face three European sides in Wales, France and Portugal.
The Gold Coast tournament, which has moved to a Saturday-Sunday time-slot, will begin an important four-year cycle for the sport, culminating in its debut appearance at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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