Schedule format for Rugby World Cup sevens to be held in the USA in 2018 has been released.
However, it is with no fanfare and with some confusion.
The first thing everyone notices is there don’t appear to be any groups; just knockout games.
USA coach Mike Friday expressed bafflement on Twitter: “So in theory to win the RWC7’s you could only have to win 3 games…who has come up with that and who was consulted?” (It’s actually only four games for a seeded team to win.)
Friday said he hadn’t been consulted and was looking to find out who came up with this proposed schedule.
No press release appears to have accompanied the release, adding to the confusion.
In the past, all teams were sorted into pools and then progressed to knockout stages. In this format, higher seeded teams (the teams which finished first through eighth at the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow) will automatically advance to the round of 16, while the bottom seeds will play off with teams which advance to the RWC through regional play. The winners from this “qualifying” round will advance to the round of 16.
On the men’s side, Argentina, Canada and the USA will be in the second tier of qualifiers, given their finishes in 2013.
The women’s tournament will follow a similar format, with all eight women’s teams from the 2016-17 series being seeded and playing qualifying teams in the first round (a round of 16).
-Story by The Province