All Black 7's eye manufactured Series triumph
April 3, 2000
The destiny of the inaugural World Sevens Series title may not be, as widely thought, a foregone conclusion when the sides gather in Paris in May.
After Fiji's triumph in Tokyo last weekend, and a repeat final expected in Paris, then New Zealand would not be able to overhaul their great rivals at the top of the table even if they win the final.
The 20 points available to the winner of the final event would not be enough to secure the title for the All Blacks, if the Fijians finish as ruuners-up.
The seeding for the tournament would keep them apart until the final, unless, as has been mentioned in certain New Zeland circles, the All Blacks 'throw' a pool game.
This would put New Zealand into Fiji's half of the draw and ensure them meeting before the final if results went accordingly.
A victory over them earlier in the competition would condemn Fiji to the Plate where victory would not be enough to stop the Kiwis taking the title if they went on to win the Cup.
It is understood that New Zealand coach Gordon Tietjens is fully aware of the situation and will put it before his side and let them decide.
"Like the Treaty of Versailles, despite all the promises, the new Participation Agreement is certainly not the final solution." John Taylor writes
"We know where we are going and we know where we want to get but how long that will take is anybody's guess." David Humphreys on his plans for Gloucester
Jim Mallinder and Justin Burnell were sat on the same top table, but in different circumstances. Tom Hamilton reports on the Aviva Premiership season launch
Tom Hamilton reports back from the launch of the Guinness PRO12 where there is a renewed sense of optimism with all of the off-field changes to the league