5 Players to Watch at 2022 HSBC Los Angeles Sevens

The 2021-22 HSBC Rugby Sevens Series is heading towards its final tournament in Los Angeles, Calif., and there’s plenty on the line with a title up for grabs. 

South Africa is in prime position to win the series championship if it finishes in first place, but Australia, Argentina and Fiji are all still in the mix for the top hardware as well. 

As the tournament approaches, let’s take a look at five players that could dictate the action in Dignity Health Sports Park

Selvyn Davids, South Africa

South Africa is second out of 19 in points in the 2021-22 Series with 1,089, trailing only Argentina. At the heart of its offense is 28-year-old technician Selvyn Davids, who can play down the center or out on the wings. 

Davids is tied for 10th in tries scored (24) and 16th in points scored (138) throughout the eight tournaments so far. His ability to make plays out of nothing, as well as being a tough opponent to tackle due to his slick movements, is a gift for the Springboks. He showed that just recently at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England as his team took home the gold medal.  

South Africa has won the most USA Sevens in history with five, and if the team makes it six this year, Davids would deserve a ton of credit. 

Dietrich Roache, Australia

Only one player leads the 2021-22 Series in points scored and conversions after tries: Dietrich Roache from Australia. Roache has scored 280 points to go with 92 conversions, which are both extremely dominant, since the player with the second-highest points total has 235 and the second-highest conversions has 69. 

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The Wallabies won the last Series tournament in London and are two points off South Africa for the Series title. If there’s one person who can lead Australia to their first ever championship in the Sevens Series, it’s Roache. Corey Toole, Roache’s teammate, will also play an imperative part in trying to achieve that feat.

Terry Kennedy, Ireland

Ireland isn’t in a position to take home any hardware from the Series (5th place with 92 points), but Terry Kennedy has enjoyed a great run in 2021-22 as the nation makes their way up in the rugby world. 

Kennedy trails only Roache in points scored with 235, but leads the Series in tries scored with 47. He also has 35 clean breaks, good for second. He has a tremendous knack of getting past the goal posts to earn points, and if Ireland hopes to finish in the top three in Los Angeles, Kennedy must continue his fine form. Ireland’s best finish in 2021-22 was second place in the Toulouse Sevens, which was two tournaments ago.

Steve Tomasin, USA

Like Ireland, USA cannot win any hardware from the Series as it sits in sixth place with 84 points. The team has only finished in a top-three spot once in 2021-22, which was in the first tournament in Dubai.

If the U.S. wants to win a medal on home soil, Steve Tomasin must sustain his elite play. The 27-year-old is third in points scored with 218 and second in conversions with 69. Teammate Kevon Williams has also been great (fourth in tries scored), but Tomasin’s prowess at getting points on the board from tough angles will be pivotal. 

Marcos Moneta, Argentina

Argentina has also never won a Sevens Series title, but the nation has hope in one of rugby’s finest young stars. The 22-year-old Marcos Moneta has been coming up the last few years, and after taking home the World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year award in 2021, he has maintained his play throughout the Series. 

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Moneta is tied for second in tries scored with 38, tied for sixth in points scored at 190 and is seventh in clean breaks with 26. A first-place finish would grant Argentina its first ever title, and Moneta would have to keep it up for that to happen. Teammate Luciano González is eighth in tries and must assist Moneta in that regard. The Pumas’ highest finish in 2021-22 was three tournaments ago in Vancouver where they won gold. 

Honorable mentions

Ronald Brown, South Africa

Henry Hutchinson, Australia

Waisea Nacuqu, Fiji

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