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Canadian women look to build on positive showing in North America at Hong Kong Sevens

The Canadian women, coming off a fourth-place showing in Los Angeles, have been drawn with the U.S., Japan and Spain in Pool C at next month's Cathay/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens.

After five events, Canada stands fifth in the season standings with 62 points, behind Australia (90), New Zealand (86), France (74) and the U.S. (64). Japan is 11th with 16 points.

The Canadian women also finished fourth in the season-opening stop in Dubai and came to Los Angeles on the back of a third-place performance in Vancouver.

New Zealand, who lifted the trophy at B.C. Place Stadium, defeated Australia 29-14 on Sunday to win HSBC Los Angeles.

With four tournament wins and eight podium finishes between them, Australia and New Zealand have dominated the women's side of the series this season.

Hong Kong will add to the rivalry between Canada and the U.S., who met two times on the weekend with the Americans winning twice including a 21-7 decision in the third-place playoff.

Canadian Chloe Daniels was named to the Los Angeles tournament "Dream Team."

The Canadian men, who lost 28-15 to South Africa in the 11th-place playoff Sunday, have been handed another tough draw alongside Australia, Fiji and France in Pool A in Hong Kong, which runs April 5-7.

After blanking injury-depleted Britain 21-0 in Sunday's final, the fourth-place French are coming off their first tournament win since 2005.

Double Olympic champion Fiji sits third in the standings while Australia is fifth. The Canadian men, rebuilding under coach Sean White are 12th after finishing last in four of the five events this season and likely face a relegation playoff at the end of the season.

The slimmed-down sevens circuit features seven regular-season events, each featuring men's and women's competitions, plus a grand final with promotion and relegation at stake.

After Hong Kong, the teams head to Singapore before wrapping up in Madrid from May 31 to June 2.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2024

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press