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Samoa and South Africa have a better chance of winning HK Sevens than New Zealand

Five different nations have won the five events so far in the HSBC Sevens World Series (HSBC SWS) making it very difficult to pick the winner in advance of the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens this weekend.

Although New Zealand lead the rankings, they won’t be heading into the iconic tournament as the team most-likely to win the Cup Final on Sunday March 24. Injuries are playing an important part in their campaign.

Of the 15 core teams that will compete in the Cup competition, South Africa and Samoa shape up as the in-form teams coming into the Hong Kong Sevens–on paper Samoa slightly shade South Africa, despite them having won the most recent tournament in the series.

Hosts Hong Kong complete the 16-team main competition in the Hong Kong Sevens.

The HSBC Asian Sevens Series champions won automatic qualification into the Hong Kong Sevens as well as qualifying for the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow in June. Accordingly, Hong Kong, while not as experienced as their more professional opponents, are expected to have the confidence to mix it with the “big boys”—especially before a parochial home crowd.

The 16-team Cup competition is divided equally into four pools, with teams having to finish first or second in their pool to advance to the Cup Quarter Finals.