The 2018-19 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series continues this weekend with the London Sevens from Twickenham Stadium.
While the tournament won’t be broadcast on television anywhere in the US, you can watch a live stream of every match via ESPN+, the digital streaming service from ESPN (no cable required) that includes various live sports, including international rugby, soccer, UFC and many others.
You can start a free 7-day trial of ESPN+ right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the entire London Sevens tournament on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone (Android and iPhone compatible), tablet, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or other streaming device via the ESPN app.
2019 HSBC London Sevens Preview
Starting the series with four consecutive second-place finishes and then a title in Las Vegas, Team USA built themselves a comfortable lead atop the standings at the halfway point. But after three straight finishes behind Fiji, the Americans’ lead has shrunk to just three points over the defending Olympic gold medalists.
The Eagles are still guaranteed to crush their previous best HSBC finish of fifth, and they’re all but assured of an Olympic qualifying (Top 4) spot, so from that scope, this season will ultimately be viewed as a major success no matter what happens. But after a historic start to the season, it’ll hard to be satisfied with anything other than first place.
“We’re not really looking at is as pressure but more as an opportunity, and an opportunity that we have earned over the course of the season through consistent results and through performing well,” USA captain Madison Hughes said. “Now here we are in London with two tournaments to go. Before this season I think you would have said it was a dream so we’re just going to do everything we can to perform in each game and do the best that we can this weekend.”
Fiji, though, are closing in quickly. After capturing the title in Hong Kong, which was their third Cup final win this series, Gareth Baber’s squad finished second in Singapore last month, and now they head to London, where they defeated South Africa in the Cup final last year.
New Zealand and South Africa occupy the final two automatic Olympic qualifying spots. New Zealand have suffered three consecutive quarterfinal defeats (twice to Fiji) to fall out of realistic contention for a 13th title, while South Africa have mixed in two tournament wins (Vancouver, Singapore) with two seventh-place finishes over their last four.
With two tournaments to go, England are 14 points behind South Africa for an automatic qualifying spot. It’s unlikely they catch the Blitzboks, but if they’re able to ride the energy of the Twickenham crowd to a tournament win, and if South Africa tally another seventh-place finish, that would bring England to within two points of fourth place heading into Paris.
South Africa, Argentina, Canada and Japan are in Pool A. Fiji, Samoa, France and Kenya are in Pool B. England, Scotland, Ireland and New Zealand make up a compelling Group C, and USA, Australia, Wales and Spain are in Pool D.
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