hsbc-world-rugby-sevens-series

South Africa may have already won the 10-stop 2016-17 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, with last Sunday's Paris victory - the fifth in a remarkable season - confirming their first championship since 2009, but on the eve of the London curtain-closing tournament there is still so much to celebrate in a campaign propelled by the golden afterglow of the Olympics.
Simon Amor knows precisely what is required to prevail in the Hong Kong Sevens, perennially the most-coveted prize on the circuit. England have won at the sport's mecca on four occasions, in a golden five-year spell between 2002 and 2006; Amor, now the country's head coach, starred as the playmaker in each success, and even skippered the side in their last triumph 11 years ago.
With just four rounds of the 10-stop HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series remaining, South Africa lead the pack by an astonishing distance and are well on course to add to the country's solitary title, achieved back in 2009. A maiden triumph at the Hong Kong Sevens - the most-coveted prize on the circuit - this weekend would provide the fillip to ensure the side complete the season as champions, surely.
With the backing of the RFU and aided by HSBC's continued investment in grass roots initiates across the globe - including the Rosslyn Park tournament - as well as title sponsorship of the Sevens Series, the short- and long-term future for England looks incredibly promising.
It's indisputable: 2016 was the most significant, epochal year in the long history of rugby sevens, when the awareness and
Mike Friday, the head coach of the USA men's rugby sevens team, joked on the eve of last summer's Olympics that if his team managed to achieve a dream podium finish he would anoint fellow Englishman Tom Hardy as the actor he would most like to portray him in the inevitable Hollywood movie depicting the against-the-odds triumph.
Ten months ahead of the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, where rugby sevens made its Games debut last August, only a fool would have placed a wager against New Zealand triumphing in the women's competition.
Of all the 133 years since two Scottish butchers from Melrose invented rugby sevens, and hosted a fund-raising tournament for their local club, 2016 will be vigorously ringed as the most sensational, successful, and significant in its long and - until recently - largely uneventful history.
When it comes to rugby sevens, Ben Ryan is worth listening to, as was proven last week in Dubai, the venue for the opening
The 2016-17 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series kicks off in Dubai this week with the sport basking in the golden afterglow of a sensationally successful Olympic Games debut that, truth be told, exceeded the expectations of players, administrators, and die-hard devotees alike.