Seven players to watch in Rugby Sevens World Cup - Daily Nation
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Seven players to watch in Rugby Sevens World Cup

Thursday July 19 2018

Vatemo Ravouvou (right) of Fiji scores a try before Perry Baker (left) of USA in the HSBC Canada Sevens Series Rugby Vancouver Tournament at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, March 12, 2017. PHOTO | DON MACKINNON |

Vatemo Ravouvou (right) of Fiji scores a try before Perry Baker (left) of USA in the HSBC Canada Sevens Series Rugby Vancouver Tournament at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, March 12, 2017. PHOTO | DON MACKINNON |  AFP

By CHARLES NYENDE
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1 Dan Norton (England): Winger.

All-time World Rugby Seven Series top try scorer with 299. Need more be said?

He combines great pace with a good reading of the game. Can step in and out and loves the chip and chase. With his speed why wouldn’t he? A pure finisher but is also hard to beat when the ball is in the opposition’s hands.

2. Perry Baker (USA): Winger.

The Bachelor of Criminal Justice graduate has stolen the hearts of the speed lovers. Blessed with searing pace he can score tries from nothing and his average of 1.1 try per game speaks for him.

Give him an inch and he will leave you miles away. A vital cog in the US Eagles team, he was twice named to the World Series Dream Team.

He won the 2017 World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year. After compatriot Carlile Isles, he is the fastest sevens rugby player in the world.

3 Collins Injera (Kenya): Winger/scrumhalf.

Kenya’s top try scorer and second on the world’s all-time top tries scorers, his finishing is second to none.

A veteran of two RWC7s and 408 World Rugby Sevens matches. May have lost some of his yesteryear speed that helped him keep the try count ticking, but has made up for that with an excellent reading of the game, leadership on the pitch and fierce fighting spirit.

Has some wicked dummies he loves selling before engaging the afterburners. Was a 2009 IRB Sevens Player of Year nominee and 2009 Kenya Sportsman of the Year winner

4 Nathan Hiyarama (Canada): Fly half.

A beautifully balanced player who made his debut with the team in 2006 as an 18 year old. Has notched up 289 Series matches scoring 1,464 points including 120 tries which makes him Canada’s top scorer.

Synonymous with Canada Sevens he is an outstanding playmaker who orchestrates most of the attacking moves.

Also adept at taking the gaps which makes him particularly dangerous. Enjoyable to watch when in action and key to Canada’s ambitions.

5 Jerry Tuwai (Fiji):

Seventeenth on the 2017/2018 World Rugby Sevens Series top try scorers list with 25 touch towns, he is one of the best off loaders in the game.

Full of attacking flair, he can create gaps where none exists thanks largely to his stupendous footwork and acceleration, and seems to have that sixth sense to know where his teammate is for that try setting pass – also known as the killer pass. The playmaker in the team and captain per excellence.

He led Fiji to their first ever Olympics gold at the 2016 Rio Games sevens.

6 Philip Snyman (South Africa): Aka Philippus Albertus Snyman.

Team captain, two-time World Rugby Sevens campaigner, and two-time World Rugby Sevens Series champion.

He scored 50 points for his team in the 2017/2018 season and with his experience of 248 series matches under his belt, and leadership qualities, the 97kg hard-running centre/winger with a devastating side step, will be a vital cog in South Africa’s bid for a first World Cup Sevens title.

7 Joe Ravouvou (New Zealand): Winger.

At 194cm and weighing in at 104km the Fijian-born big fella takes some stopping. He is sometimes the go to man for New Zealand and at full flight is more of a runaway freight train.

Stop him if you can. Top scored for New Zealand in the 2017/2018 World Rugby Sevens Series with 28 tries. Debut was in 2017. He has made a big impression in the circuit thus far.