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RugbyU: England tackles Fiji first at USA Sevens

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

England, which is fresh off its victory at the Wellington Sevens, will face Fiji in their opening match of the USA Sevens, the fifth of nine rounds in the HSBC Sevens World Series.

Scotland and Portugal are also on tap in Pool A for England, which will be seeking its first USA Sevens victory since 2006.

Defending champion Samoa is in Pool D along with host USA Eagles, Australia and Spain.

The Eagles reached the Bowl semi-finals at last year's USA Sevens and hope to improve on that in front of the home crowd.

"We look at it as returning home and using the energy of our home crowd to do good things," coach Alex Magleby said.

"That's what our crowd deserves; they deserve to see the team that represents them play with a lot of passion and execute well.

"We look forward to delivering. We're excited to be home."

It is not going to be an easy start as the Eagles will open their tournament against Australia on Friday.

Wellington runner-up Kenya meets South Africa, whom it beat in the Cup quarter finals last week in New Zealand, as well as Canada and regional qualifier Uruguay, in Pool B.

Pool C consists of series leaders New Zealand, Argentina, France and reigning Rugby World Cup Sevens champion Wales.

New Zealand tops the HSBC Sevens World Series standings on 77 points, ahead of Kenya (56), Samoa (54), Fiji (51), France (51) and South Africa (51).

Each side plays its three opponents once, with pool winners and runners-up advancing to the Cup quarter-finals. There will also be Plate, Bowl and Shield silverware up for grabs.

From Las Vegas the competition moves to Hong Kong on March 22-24.

A total of 16 countries play 44 games in the USA Sevens, which is sanctioned by the International Rugby Board (IRB). The event is owned and operated by USA Sevens LLC.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130207/rugbyu-england-tackles-fiji-first-at-usa-sevens