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Vancouver 7s rolls into town

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Fiji 7s fansFiji 7s fansIT’S party time as the Canada Sevens rolls into Vancouver on the weekend.

But the B.C. Place Stadium will be a miss with the three Olympic Games medalists, Fiji (Gold), New Zealand (Silver), and Argentina (Bronze).

Australia, France, Japan and Samoa are also absent, while there is a notable inclusion of Great Britain on the Sevens Series for the first time.

Funding cuts have seen the England, Scotland, and Wales teams effectively disbanded leaving only one team to represent the three countries.

Germany makes its first circuit appearance under the guidance of former Canada Men’s coach Damian McGrath.

Fiji’s withdrawal from the Canada Sevens, Vancouver and Edmonton event are due to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The impassioned Fijians in a S1-SUNsports poll said while they were hoping to give the 2021 Olympic gold medalist a hero’s welcome at the B.C. Place, they heartedly support the Fiji Rugby Union’s decision to withdraw from Canada Sevens, Vancouver, and Edmonton events.

Fijians made the biggest backdrop at the B.C. Place, since the inaugural HSBC Vancouver Sevens in 2016.

About 20,000 raucous fans packed the stadium over 2 days. Rugby Canada in a statement said the Fijian will be missed.

Attendance in Vancouver will be capped at 50 per cent of B.C. Place's lower bowl capacity, making about 13,500 tickets available.

Last year, a crowd of 39,533 - the largest single-day crowd in Canadian rugby history - saw the Canadian men reach the podium.

The crowd will be bigger outdoors at Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium.

Rugby Canada is making half of the 32,000-capacity lower bowl available and may push that to 60 per cent if demand warrants.

And albeit the absence of the top 5 teams, the action aplenty will be focused on the field with the 12 men’s team eyeing top finish, the best will win the championship on form and consistency.

The weekend-long Vancouver Seven starts on Sunday, 19th, and ends with the final on Monday, 20th.

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