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2014 Commonwealth Games 7's (26&27/07/14)


First XV
Oct 3, 2010
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The 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow (Ibrox Stadium) fires up in a couple of weeks and one of the signature events of the games is the 7's tournament. The format for the tournament will be identical to that of a regular IRB 7's circuit event, though obviously with only commonwealth countries. That dosen't meen the tournament lacks quality however as 9 of the IRB core teams are present(Fiji could have been but are suspended from the commonwealth.

The opening day might have a bit of an anticlimactic feel as all pools aside from Pool A the two top teams will be heavily favoured and the action will be more about seeding for the final day. A game of interest will be the hosts Scotland versus Canada, with the winner likely advancing to the medal rounds while the loser enters the consolation side of the picture.

Here are the pools.....

Pool A

New Zealand

Pool B

South Africa
Cook Islands
Trinidad and Tobago

Pool C

Papua New Guinea

Pool D

Sri Lanka
I was considering starting this thread myself, but you have saved me the effort :)

It looks like most of the squad have been named. I won't include all the squads, but here are some of the top sides:

South Africa:
Chris Dry, Schalk Brits, Frankie Horne, Kyle Brown, Branco du Preez, Cheslin Kolbe, Justin Geduld, Cecil Afrika, Bryan Habana, Seabelo Senatla, Cornal Hendricks, Warren Whiteley

The South African squad has been posted elsewhere, but I will include it here, as it is the most interesting squad. On paper it is a very exciting squad, with Habana, Brits, Whiteley, and Hendricks all excellent XV's players (Hendricks has a strong 7's pedigree too), Horne, Dry, and Brown are all experienced forwards, and between du Preez, Geduld, Senatla, and Kolbe there is more than enough pace and elusiveness in the backs! I understand that there is still a concern about whether Habana and Brits will be released to play. While on paper the team is incredibly exciting, personally I feel that XV's and 7's are very distinct games these days, and transferring between the two games is not as straight forward as it may have been in the past....

Dan Bibby, John Brake, Mark Bright, Philip Burgess, Mike Ellery, Charlie Hayter, Christian Lewis-Pratt, Tom Mitchell, Dan Norton, Tom Powell, James Rodwell, Marcus Watson

The only surprise (to me) in the England squad is the inclusion of New Zealand loose-forward Mark Bright. He was always a good player while in NZ (I felt he was very unlucky not to get a Super Rugby contract), but given his age (he's 35!) I'm somewhat surprised he has made the England squad.

Ed Jenkins (capt), Liam Gill, Sean McMahon, James Stannard, Greg Jeloudev, Cameron Clark, Jesse Parahi, Tom Cusack, Sam Myers, Con Foley, Tom Lucas, Pama Fou

A relatively stable squad, with the only new inclusions being Liam Gill and Sean McMahon. I thought they were showing some good signs towards the end of the World Series, so should be a big threat in Glasgow

New Zealand:
Pita Ahki (North Harbour), Scott Curry (Manawatu), Sam Dickson (Canterbury), DJ Forbes, captain (Counties Manukau), Bryce Heem (Tasman), Akira Ioane (Auckland), Gillies Kaka (Hawke's Bay), Ben Lam (Auckland), Tim Mikkelson (Waikato), Declan O'Donnell (Waikato), Sherwin Stowers (Counties Manukau), Joe Webber (Waikato)

New Zealand have resisted the urge to include many Super Rugby players this time (Ben Smith, Gear, Guildford, Messam etc went to the last Commonwealth games), with the only Super Rugby player included being Pita Ahki (who is hardly a big name...). They have stuck with the same side that has been successful this season, though it is interesting to see Declan O'Donnell making a reappearance after a couple of years struggling with injuries. Basically it is a side full of 7's specialists - apart from Ioane, Ahki and possibly Webber I don't expect to see any of these players at Super Rugby level in the future. It is interesting to see that two of NZ's most experienced 7's players - Tamasi Cama and Lote Raikabula - missed out on selection, though both will be travelling with the side as the two squad reserves.

One of the real features of this NZ side is the size of the players. 8/12 players are around (or over) the 100kg mark, with only a single player listed at less than 90kgs (Webber at 88kg). Overall there isn't a lot of pace in the side, they will be relying more on solid defense, good team work, and strong play at the breakdown rather than individual pace / elusiveness.
NZ's 7's team looks remarkably boring to be honest. Isn't exactly many new players who are going to be stars. It would be great if Declan O'Donnell can find some of the form that made him such a star. Very strange Cama and Raikabula are missing!
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NZ's 7's team looks remarkably boring to be honest. Isn't exactly many players who are going to be starts. It would be great if Declan O'Donnell can find some of the form that made him such a star. Very strange Cama and Raikabula are missing!

Boring? Perhaps. However they are ideally suited to Tietjens 'boring' style of Sevens, the style that has seen us generally dominate the world 7's series this year (for the last 10+ years) :) I think there are plenty of stars in the side - Forbes, Mikkelson, Kaka, Stowers etc are all stars of the 7's game. They just aren't that good at XV's. Probably the only player who could potentially be a star at XV's level is Ioane, but it is too early to tell just how good he will be. I actually think this is the strongest 7's squad we have assembled this season, so I'm quite confident of bringing home gold again....

I'm not surprised at the omission of Raikabula and Cama. Raikabola has been on the outer for a number of years, and has only really featured this season when there have been a few injuries. Cama has struggled with injuries all season so hasn't been at his best - the few tournaments he did feature in he has been used mainly off the bench.
Are they not missing because they don't have NZ passports?

No, both have NZ passports. They have both been in past commonwealth games squads (where the same eligibility rules would presumably apply?), and they certainly wouldn't have been included as travelling reserves if they were ineligible to play in the squad...

Frank Halai was initially named in the wider training squad in May, but was quickly removed when they realized he didn't have a NZ passport.
Good post LG!

But Habana and Brits will most likely be replaced as their clubs, Saracens and Toulon haven't agreed to release them.

At the moment it looks like Brits will most likely miss this chance, while SARU is still in talks with Toulon about Habana.

With that said, there are no replacements called up in their place as of yet, so I eagerly sit and wait to see how it pans out. The squad looks really good with good combination of pace, agility and strength.
Few more squads:

Scotland Sevens squad: [FONT=arial, sans-serif]Richie Vernon, James Eddie, James Johnstone, Roddy Grant, Scott Riddell, Colin Shaw, Lee Jones, Colin Gregor, Scott Wight, Mark Bennett, Sean Lamont, Stuart Hogg.[/FONT]

[FONT=arial, sans-serif]Strong squad for their home tournament so hope to see them do quite well! Will be interesting seeing teh XV stars like Hogg, Vernon and Lamont join up with their 7's specialists like Colin Gregor. Also Lee Jones! Always looked good for Scotland on the wing, glad to see him in the squad as it's been a while since I've seen him play.

[/FONT]Wales Sevens Commonwealth Games squad: Adam Thomas (Captain - Cardiff Blues), Craig Price (Scarlets), Iolo Evans (Carmarthen Quins), James Davies (Scarlets), Jevon Groves (Cardiff Blues), Luke Treharne (Exeter University), Lee Williams (Carmarthen Quins), Gareth Davies (Cardiff Blues), Will Harries (Unattached), Gareth Owen (Scarlets), Luke Morgan (Bridgend), Alex Webber (Pontypridd).

Recognise some of these guys, most seem to either be young up and coming guys with a sprinkling of experienced XV's guys, plus the odd 7's specialist like 2009 Sevens World Cup winner Lee Williams. Definitely interested to see Will Harries on the 7's field again, that guy with a bit of space is always lethal! Also, didn't know he's left the Dragons?!
Beerfalo posted the Canadian squad in another thread, it's a fairly strong side though missing talisman Mack to injury along with Dala, medalling will be difficult but a trip to the top 8 round is still possible the game against Scotland is massive....

Connor Braid (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Justin Douglas (Abbotsford RFC) Abbotsford, BC
Sean Duke (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Mike Fuailefau (Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Lucas Hammond (Toronto Nomads/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
Ciaran Hearn (Castaway Wanderers/Atlantic Rock) Conception Bay South, NL
Nathan Hirayama (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Richmond, BC
Harry Jones (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
John Moonlight (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON
Sean White (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Mike Scholz (Castaway Wanderers/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
Conor Trainor (UBCOB Ravens/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
I'll call it now - I've big feeling Schalk Brits will be top man in this tournament.
The article I saw claimed that they did, but I've not seen anything for definite - more of a "it's understood that...".

I'd imagine it's more of a "If you spend your off season focusing on 7s, and miss a large portion of pre-season, then you're not guaranteed your spot in the 23 at the start of the season."
Pretty sure the PRL came out a blocked it - something to do with rest period technicalities.

I know Leicester have basically said they will not renew players who play 7s contract's.
Just on that issue then it'll be very interesting come Olympics time so. Whatever about these games I'm sure every pro player would love to do the Olympics