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Canadian men drawn with powerhouse South Africa for Edmonton rugby 7s event

Canada has been drawn in Pool A with South Africa, Hong Kong and Mexico at the HSBC Canada Sevens in Edmonton this weekend.

The Canadian men are coming off a sixth-place finish Sunday in Vancouver where South Africa won as the HSBC World Rugby Seven Series returned after a lengthy pandemic-prompted hiatus. The Blitzboks defeated Kenya 38-5 in the final at B.C. Place Stadium.

In Vancouver, Canada defeated Germany 24-5 and Chile 19-14 before losing 29-19 to the U.S. On Day 2, the Canadians lost 31-5 to Britain in the quarterfinal, defeated Spain 33-19 and then were defeated 26-7 by the U.S. in the fifth-place playoff.

South Africa scored 38 tries in Vancouver, with Angelo Davids accounting for 10 of them, becoming the first player to 10 tries in a Series event since France’s Terry Bouhraoua at Cape Town in 2017.

Davids will miss the Edmonton event, having returned to South Africa after a scan revealed a broken hand. He will be replaced by Selvyn Davids.

Hong Kong concluded seventh in Vancouver while Mexico was 12th.

Pool B in Edmonton features Kenya, the U.S., Spain and Chile while Pool C is made up of Britain, Ireland, Germany and Jamaica.

The Vancouver and Edmonton events, which also feature a four-team women’s competition, will serve as a truncated 2021 World Series season.

Only seven of the men’s core teams are taking part in the Canadian events with New Zealand. Fiji, Australia, Argentina, Japan, France and Samoa among those missing due to pandemic-related travel restrictions.

Chile, Germany, Hong Kong, Jamaica and Mexico are invited teams. The Mexican men’s and women’s sides were late additions after France withdrew due to travel issues. The Mexican men went 0-5-0 in Vancouver, outscored 252-7. The Mexican women also lost all five outings, outscored 231-0.

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