• Blitzboks in challenging pool

    The Blitzboks have been drawn with Scotland, Samoa and newly-promoted core team Russia for the Dubai Sevens on 4 and 5 December.

    South Africa are the top seeds in Pool B for the opening round of the expanded World Rugby Sevens Series.

    The Blitzboks are the defending Dubai champions, and will begin their campaign against powerful Samoa.

    Coach Neil Powell said his team would approach each pool match on merit.

    'With so much at stake this season, the bigger World Series and the Olympics, it will be vital for us to keep our focus and concentrate on the most immediate task. In this respect it is Dubai, where we have a strong pool. Day one is very important and our approach will be to stick to our system and strive for the desired outcomes.'

    In other matches, reigning series champions Fiji head Pool A and kick off proceedings against Canada, with further ties against Japan and Argentina. Twelve-time series champions New Zealand face matches against USA, as well as France and Portugal in Pool C, while in Pool D England will compete against Australia, Wales and Kenya.

    Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

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    Craig Lewis