We’re onto the last event of the 2016-17 World Rugby Sevens Series, and South Africa have already clinched the overall victory. The South Africans have won five of the nine competitions, and they’re the heavy favorite heading into london.
The Series is relatively young and since its inception it’s been completely dominated by New Zealand. While Samoa and South Africa have snuck in a win over the years, and Fiji won the last two years back-to-back, the world of Rugby Sevens is still very much in the hands of the Kiwis.
So with the current series effectively over, let’s turn our attention to next year.
Here are the odds for the 2017-18 World Rugby Sevens Series!
Odds to win the 2017-18 World Rugby Sevens Series
New Zealand: 13/7
Since the series’ inception in 1999, New Zealand has won twelve of the seventeen previous editions. They’re the defending World Cup Sevens side and the Olympic silver medalists. However, the 2016-17 series has been quite disappointing for them. They’re currently at a distant fourth, with no event wins.
But as usual, the Kiwis will enter 2018 as the favorites. It’s been three years since they’ve won the event, which must feel like a lifetime for them. A comeback feels imminent.
South Africa: 3/1
South Africa absolutely dominated the competition this year. They opened the series by winning four of the first five events, though the one event they didn’t win was in Cape Town. Still, the Springbok ransacked the competition to clinch their second ever title. If they win in London, it will be the most points ever collected in a single series.
With players like the young Seabelo Senatla, South Africa have a lot to look forward to.
Fiji won the last two editions of the series, but the best they can finish this year is second. That’s still a huge achievement for the tiny island. The Fijians have consistently finished the series in the top three.
They’re also the first Rugby Sevens gold medalists at the Olympics. By the looks of things, Fiji has really made Sevens their own.
England may be the birthplace of Rugby, but the brits gave up the crown long ago. They had a few second-place finishes back in the early years of the series, but they’ve been pretty disappointing since. If they have a good showing in London, they can finish the current series in second.
Still, they have an experienced team and a passionate fanbase. Who knows, maybe this is the year they finally reclaim the sport.
Rugby Sevens is experiencing a boom in the US, leading them to two back-to-back bronze medals at the World Rugby Sevens Series. The inclusion of sevens in the Olympics led to a massive increase in funding for the sport, which has allowed US Rugby to flourish. San Jose and San Francisco will host the World Cup next year, which will bring even more exposure to the sport.
Having said that, the US team still has a long way to go before they can compete with the likes of New Zealand and South Africa.
Photo credit: Land Rover MENA [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]