Sun Dec 04 05:55:14 CAT 2016

Big guns set to show their hands for Tokyo Olympics in Dubai Sevens‚ says Candelon

By Khanyiso Tshwaku‚ In Dubai | 2016-12-01 15:59:23.0 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

French sevens superstar Julien Candelon has said this season’s Sevens World Series will be far more easily contested for the big teams.

Fiji were the standout side last season‚ having won four of the 10 events while collecting 181 points. South Africa were second with 171 points.

In the season opening event that starts on Friday at The Sevens Stadium South Africa have avoided the big guns while France have Kenya‚ Japan and Australia in their Pool D.

“All the big teams are looking very good and they will want to make an impression. We watched Fiji and how they won the Olympic Games gold medal but teams have to change their players over time. In time they will look different but they’ll still be good‚” Candelon said.

The theme of the tournament and the season‚ which acquired a new associate sponsor in TAG Heuer for three years‚ is the build-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

After the Sevens success in the Rio 2016 games‚ teams have now been forced to recalibrate their preparations according to a four-year cycle similar to the one followed by the 15s version ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

Candelon said he expected teams to shed players as the years progressed but added that sides will also partially show their hands this season.

“I think last year we worked hard and put a everything into the Olympic Games. Now teams have to plan differently‚ but we’re professionals. We’re paid to play for a living and we can’t complain. Each year is unique and we also want to win games‚” Candelon said.

- Khanyiso Tshwaku is in Dubai courtesy of TAG Heuer

TMG Digital/TMG Sport

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