Watch: Bula! Flying Fijian Sevens stars get traditional vakamalolo welcome during San Francisco fan meet

The Flying Fijians Sevens team has been given a warm welcome to San Francisco after receiving a traditional greeting during their fan meet today.

The team was welcomed with a vakamalolo as they took time out from training for this weekend's World Cup to sign supporters' gear and take photos with fans.

The Fijians were pipped for this year's Sevens Series world title by the Blitzbokke in Paris and were denied a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games by the All Blacks Sevens.

However, they remain a fan favourite, with plenty of die-hard fans bringing flags, balls and jerseys to get signed ahead of the tournament kicking off this Saturday.

Fiji begin their campaign late on day one when they play the winner of Japan and Uruaguay at 3:50pm NZT.

Every game of the men's and women's Rugby World Cup Sevens will be live from July 21-23 on TVNZ's Duke channel - Freeview 13, Sky 23, and streaming on tvnz.co.nz.

The team is already proving a fan favourite heading into the World Cup. Source: 1 NEWS


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'Every team is getting strong' - Black Ferns Sevens say Aussies aren't the only ones watch out for at World Cup

Australia isn't the only team the Black Ferns Sevens are keeping an eye on heading into this year's World Cup despite the rivalry with their trans-Tasman foes intensifying this year.

Playmaker Tyla Nathan-Wong says despite regularly seeing Australia in knockout matches during this year's tournaments, there's other teams on their radar heading into this weekend's event in San Francisco.

"It's a new tournament at the end of the day - everyone's had a month to prepare for this," she said.

The women's sevens side begin their campaign against Mexico on Saturday in San Francisco. Source: 1 NEWS

"Every team is getting strong. The likes of Spain, who beat the Aussies earlier in the year. France, who made their first ever final on the world series and the likes of the USA - on home soil, you can't count them out."

The Black Ferns Sevens faced off with Australia in the last two Cup finals in this year's World Sevens Series, taking out both with a 46-0 walloping in Langford and a comfortable 33-7 win in Paris.

However, it wasn't enough to snatch the overall title from the Australians who pipped them to the series trophy by two points after the Kiwi side's rough start to this year's series in Dubai.

New Zealand defeated Australia 17-12 at the death to win Comm Games gold. Source: TVNZ | Commonwealth Games

The team did get one back though after claiming the gold medal in a thrilling extra-time final against Australia in the Commonwealth Games.

The Black Ferns Sevens face Mexico in their opening match of the World Cup on Friday 20 July (kick off 6.50am Saturday 21 July NZT).

Every game of the men's and women's Rugby World Cup Sevens will be live from July 21-23 on TVNZ's Duke channel - Freeview 13, Sky 23, and streaming on tvnz.co.nz.

Tyla Nathan-Wong says teams such as Spain and the US are just as dangerous as their trans-Tasman rivals. Source: 1 NEWS


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Jordie Barrett in the midfield, Julian Savea recalled at No.14 as Hurricanes shuffle backline for Chiefs quarter-final

The Hurricanes have tweaked their midfield and back three combination yet again heading into this week's quarter-final clash with the Chiefs after another concerning performance.

Following last Saturday's 28-24 loss in Hamilton to the Waikato franchise, the Hurricanes have made four changes to their backline for the rematch in Wellington.

With Wes Goosen nursing a head knock from last week's contest, Jordie Barrett has moved from fullback to the midfield alongside Ngani Laumape, seeing Nehe Milner-Skudder shift from the wing to take the No.15 jersey.

The changes have seen departing former All Black Julian Savea recalled to the starting XV after being benched last week, albeit in the unfamiliar No.14 jersey with Ben Lam remaining on the left wing.

In the forwards, captain Brad Shields could be the only change as he's been bracketed alongside Reed Prinsep while he attempts to overcome a rib injury.

The only other change sees Gareth Evans start at openside flanker over Sam Henwood.

Coach Chris Boyd said he wasn't fazed by last week's game or giving up a 21-0 deficit at half time, calling the Chiefs' early scoring plays "easy tries".

"We came back to 21-19 and didn't close the coffin, really," he said.

"It was a reasonable comeback but we didn't quite get the job done."

The Hurricanes and Chiefs square off at Westpac Stadium at 7:30pm this Friday.

Hurricanes: Nehe Milner-Skudder, Julian Savea, Jordie Barrett, Ngani Laumape, Ben Lam, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara, Blade Thomson, Gareth Evans, Brad Shields/Reed Prinsep, Sam Lousi, Michael Fatialofa, Jeff To'omaga-Allen, Ricky Riccitelli, Toby Smith.

Reserves: James O'Reilly, Chris Eves, Ben May, Vaea Fifita, Reed Prinsep/Sam Henwood, Jamie Booth, Ihaia West, Wes Goosen/Jonah Lowe.

The Hurricanes play the Chiefs this week after being handed a 21-0 halftime deficit in Saturday’s loss to the same rival. Source: 1 NEWS


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