HSBC Sevens World Series: The season so far

(IRB.COM) Tuesday 28 December 2010
 HSBC Sevens World Series: The season so far
England lead the World Series after the first two events in Dubai and South Africa

The 2010/11 HSBC Sevens World Series got off and running in stunning fashion in December with two superb opening tournaments in Dubai and South Africa.

New Zealand arrived in Dubai as the newly crowned Commonwealth Games champions and Samoa as the reigning World Series champions, but it was England who staged a great escape to take the spoils.

Ben Ryan's men lost on day one against Portugal and seemed destined for the Bowl competition on day two, but victories against Fiji, Australia, New Zealand and Samoa - the four sides ranked above them at the end of the 2009/10 season - took them surging to the title.

Video: England triumph in Dubai

Fighting fit and no doubt benefiting from their newly contracted full-time Sevens players, England travelled down to George, South Africa as favourites to take a second title in as many weeks.

They looked on course, too, until New Zealand - whom they'd beaten in the Dubai semi finals - got the better of them to retain their George crown.

Yet more success for timeless coach Gordon Tietjens and his proven core led by DJ Forbes, but also ominous first signs of a new generation of kiwi talent starting out on their careers.

Video: New Zealand storm to George defence

As a result of the first two events, England currently lead the Series standings from New Zealand with Samoa and Fiji lying just behind.

The third and fourth legs of the Series will be played out in Wellington, NZ and Las Vegas, USA on the first two weekends of February 2011.