- Fiji are the +200 favorite to win the Olympic men’s rugby 7s gold medal at the Tokyo Summer Games
- The Fijians were gold medalists when rugby 7s made its Olympic debut at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympiad
- Olympic men’s rugby 7s tournament gets underway July 25
Rugby 7s is often referred to as rugby on fast forward. It offers all the pace, punishment and passion of 15-aside rugby but in snack-size 15-minute matches played at breakneck speed.
The sport made its Olympic debut five years ago in Rio de Janeiro and was a smash hit. Fiji won the gold medal, whipping Great Britain 43-8 in the final.
Rugby 7s at the Tokyo Olympics gets underway on Monday, July 26th. The 12-team tournament starts with a round-robin-format group stage. Teams are split into three groups of four and play each of the other teams in their group once (three games in total per team).
The top eight teams will advance to the quarterfinals on Tuesday, July 27th. The semifinals and gold-medal match are slated for July 28th.
Olympic Men’s Rugby 7s Odds
Odds as of July 23rd at DraftKings
The Fijians are +200 favorites to defend their Olympic title. New Zealand, quarterfinal losers to Fiji in Rio, are the +225 second betting choice.
Fiji outscored opponents 160-63 while going 6-0 en route to the gold medal in Rio. Captain Jerry Tuwai, World Rugby 7s Player of the Decade, will again lead the powerful Fijians. He can form a deadly partnership with lethal center Semi Radradra.
Tuwai is known for drawing a knife and fork on his boots. Tuwai grew up in poverty. The cutlery on his boots represent that through his world-class footwork, he’s able to put food on the table for his family.
Already a legend
— World Rugby Sevens (@WorldRugby7s) July 22, 2021
However, it’s the opposition that he dines out on. Tuwai scored three tries in Rio.
The second-seeded Fijians enter the Olympiad on top of their form. They recently won the Oceania Sevens Tournament, defeating both New Zealand and Australia.
All Blacks On Top Of The World
Other than the Olympic gold medal, all of the other major rugby 7s competitions have been dominated by New Zealand. The All Blacks are entering the Tokyo Summer Games as the reigning World Sevens, Commonwealth and World Cup champions.
— The New Zealand Team (@TheNZTeam) July 21, 2021
Ranked #1 in the world, New Zealand is led by co-captains Tim Mikkelson and Scott Curry. New Zealand churns out world-class rugby talent as if they have a factory in the country to do just that. The latest product of that assembly line is the talented young Etene Nanai-Seturo.
USA Offering Value
Seeded fourth in the world, the USA was the first country to qualify for the Tokyo Summer Games. During the 2019 season, the American Rugby 7s won seven medals in 10 tournaments. That total included one gold, four silver and two bronze. The USA was the only country to reach the semifinal stage of every event.
— World Rugby (@WorldRugby) July 22, 2021
In a single season, the team equaled the total number of medals it had ever won in HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series history. The Americans even rose to occupy the world #1 ranking for a spell during the year.
Speedy Carlin Isles, who has challenged the world’s fastest man Usain Bolt to a race, led all try scorers in Rio with six. However, the USA still shows signs of inconsistency. Amidst all of their recent success, the Americans were also humbled 29-7 by Australia.
Not So Great Britain?
Bettors can access odds of +1200 on the country that finished second in the inaugural Olympic rugby 7s tourney. Oddsmakers seem certain that the British aren’t coming back for another crack at the gold.
— World Rugby Sevens (@WorldRugby7s) January 25, 2020
Doubt the Brits are your own risk. Captain Tom Mitchell is a threat whenever he has the ball in his hands. Dan Norton has scored more tries than any player in the history of seven-aside rugby.
The last time South Africa came to Japan for a major international rugby tournament, they won the Rugby World Cup in 2019.
Good News #FIJvRSA #Rugby7s
South Africa beats Fiji 29-24 in the Rugby 7s final in the USA, after beating New Zealand 17-0 in the semifinal. Congrats #Blitzboks!!!!
🇿🇦🇿🇦👏🏈🥇🏆🇿🇦🇿🇦 fantastic rugby! Wow! #MondayMotivaton pic.twitter.com/uvJQj1x167
— Southern Staying 🏡 (@SouthernStaying) March 2, 2020
The Blitzboks were bronze-medal winners in Rio. South Africa won two rugby 7s tourneys last year.
Pick: New Zealand (+225)