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Wales to Start Rugby Title Defense Against Fiji, Uruguay

Feb. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Defending champion Wales was drawn in the same pool as two-time winner Fiji at this year’s Rugby World Cup Sevens, the last global championship before the sport makes its Olympic Games debut.

Wales, which won the title four years ago in Dubai, had been among the second band of seeds for the June 28-30 tournament in Moscow. The 24 teams were ranked according to their results in the International Rugby Board’s Sevens World Series over the past three seasons.

It’s the first edition of the four-yearly championship since sevens, a fast-paced game with eight fewer players per team than rugby union’s traditional format, was added to the Olympics program for the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro.

Fiji, which is trying to win a third world championship in six editions, and Wales will play opening-round matches against Tonga and Uruguay.

New Zealand, the 2001 champion, will play the U.S., Canada and Georgia in the opening round, while England, which won the tournament in 1993, was grouped with Argentina, Portugal and Hong Kong.

     Men’s Tournament:
     POOL A: Australia, France, Spain, Tunisia
     POOL B: South Africa, Scotland, Russia, Japan
     POOL C: Samoa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Philippines
     POOL D: New Zealand, U.S., Canada, Georgia
     POOL E: Fiji, Wales, Tonga, Uruguay
     POOL F: England, Argentina, Portugal, Hong Kong

     Women’s Tournament:
     POOL A: Canada, New Zealand, Netherlands, Tunisia
     POOL B: Australia, South Africa, China, Ireland
     POOL C: U.S., Spain, Brazil, Fiji
     POOL D: England, Russia, France, Japan

To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Baynes in Sydney at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at

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