The South American Sevens takes place this weekend in Montevideo.
This year’s South American Sevens championship kicks off on Friday in Montevideo, recent hosts of the highly successful and well-attended Youth Olympics.
Brazil have won every tournament since the series began in 2004 (apart from one that doubled as the 2016 Olympic qualifier) and can be confidently expected to win this one too. So far ahead of the rest of the continent have they been that their even conceding a try has been rare. No full-strength Brazilian team has ever lost a match against any team from the rest of South America.
However there are signs that some teams are at least closing the gap. The fact that it was Colombia – not Brazil - that represented South America in the Youth Olympics suggests that Brazil cannot take victory entirely for granted.
Colombia are drawn with Brazil in Pool A, which means that the two teams should be in opposite sides of the draw on the second day.
The most interesting question in the tournament may be who comes second. Argentina have traditionally been South America’s number two team, and are drawn as the top ranked team in Pool B, but recently Colombia appear to have had the greater ambition and Union support.
One significant difference from most previous championships is the absence of Venezuela. Costa Rica take their place.
Pool phase (9th November)
Pool A: Peru – Colombia; Brasil – Costa Rica; Peru – Brasil; Colombia – Costa Rica; Costa Rica – Peru; Brasil – Colombia
Pool B: Uruguay – Paraguay; Argentina – Chile; Uruguay – Argentina; Paraguay – Chile; Chile – Uruguay; Argentina – Paraguay
Knock-out (10th November)
Quarter-final draw: 4th Pool A – 1st Pool B; 3rd Pool B – 2nd Pool A; 4th Pool B – 1st Pool A; 3rd Pool A – 2nd Pool B