SA Sevens Middelburg squad to be named on Wednesday
September 17, 2012
The Blitzbokke will be in action against Wales, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, the Nashua Middelburg team, a powerful SA National Defence Force selection and several provincial teams. Overall, sixteen teams will kick-off in this popular two-day Sevens extravaganza.

Meanwhile, the Springbok Sevens rugby team will kick off their HSBC Sevens World Series campaign in a tough pool at the season-opening Gold Coast Sevens on 13-14 October in Australia.

In the draw announced by the IRB earlier on Monday, defending Series champions New Zealand were placed top of Pool A and will face South Africa, the USA and Canada.

For the second year running the tournament will be staged at Skilled Park on the Gold Coast, where hosts Australia have been drawn to face defending champions Fiji in pool play on Saturday 13 October.

Last season's runners-up Fiji are top of Pool B and face matches against tournament hosts Australia as well as Scotland and Oceania's regional qualifier, Tonga.

England head Pool C and face three tough matches against 2009/10 World 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 matches against three European sides in Wales, France and Portugal. Pool draw innovation for 2012/13 season

In addition to the draw for the first of the nine rounds, the IRB has also announced a change to the pool draw allocation process for each of the nine rounds.

From the start of the new season, the winner of the 3rd/4th ‘bronze medal’ match at each round of the Series will be placed top of Pool C for the subsequent round.

Previously, the only teams to gain automatic placing into pools for the next event were the Cup winner (top of Pool A) and Cup runners-up (top of Pool B).

The full details of the bands for the pool draw are as follows:

- The Cup winners, runners-up and 3rd-placed team will be placed top of Pools A, B and C respectively.
- Teams placed 4th to 8th will be drawn into Band 2, with the first drawn team allocated top of Pool D.
- Teams placed 9th to 12th will be drawn into Band 3.
- Teams placed 13th, 14th, 15th, together with the one invitational team, will be drawn into Band 4.

For Round 1 of the HSBC Sevens World Series 2012/13, the Gold Coast Sevens, teams were placed and banded based on the final standings of the 2011/2012 Series (see below). Tonga, as the 16th team based on their performance at the recent Oceania Sevens, will be placed into Band 4.

Final standings - HSBC Sevens World Series 2011/12

1. New Zealand
2. Fiji
3. England
4. Samoa
5. South Africa
6. Australia
7. Argentina
8. Wales
9. France
10. Scotland
11. USA
12. Kenya
13. Canada
14. Spain
15. Portugal
16. Tonga