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Sevens World Cup: New seeding system announced

A new system for deciding the seeding – and therefore the draw – for next year’s Sevens World Cup has been announced.

Plans for the 2018 Sevens World Cup in San Francisco have suffered repeated change – as we detailed back in July when the new knockout structure of the tournament was revealed.

Now another change has been revealed in a video published last week.

The seeding system announced in July favoured first the teams automatically qualifying from the 2013 tournament, and then those qualifying from the World Series, ahead of those reaching the competition from the regional tournaments. This meant – among other things – that Spain would be seeded in the top four, Olympic champions Australia could not be seeded higher than fifth, and England no higher than ninth.

That has all now been swept away. The new seeding plan will be based entirely on the World Series, and World Series qualification tournaments.

The top 10 seedings will be based on World Series points from the 2016/17 season, plus points achieved in Dubai and Sydney.

Japan will be seeded 11th, and the non-World Series qualifiers will be seeded 12th-16th based on the outcome of the Hong Kong World Series qualifier.

As a result, based on points achieved so far, and with just Sydney left, the seedings for San Francisco will be:

1. New Zealand 128
2. Australia 120
3. Canada 112
4. Russia 82
5. United States 80
6. France 70
7. Fiji 68
8. England 43
9. Ireland 38
10. Spain 27
11. Japan
12-16. Brazil, China, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, South Africa

As a result, if these seeding remain unchanged (and there is little room for significant change) the draw for the World Cup will be:

Round of 16

M1: England v Ireland
M2: Fiji v Spain
M3: France v Japan
M4: United States v WS Qualifier winner
M5: Russia v WS Qualifier runner-up
M6: Canada v WS Qualifier third-place
M7: Australia v WS Qualifier fourth-place
M8: New Zealand v WS Qualifier fifth-place

Quarter-finals

M9: Winner of M1 v Winner of M8
M10: Winner of M2 v Winner of M7
M11: Winner of M3 v Winner of M6
M12: Winner of M4 v Winner of M5

Semi-finals

Winner of M9 v Winner of M12
Winner of M10 v Winner of M11