5 Sevens Players to Watch in 2017

Eyes on Sevens – Who to watch in 2017

With the Wellington Sevens kicking off the first international Sevens Tournament of 2017 this weekend, we’ve picked out 5 players it’ll be worth keeping an eye on in Wellington and for the rest of the season.

Sevens has become more popular than ever thanks to the Olympic Games, and now more people than ever will be watching to see what players impress on the pitch. Below you’ll find some of the most exciting players that you should be keeping tabs on in 2017 (Or searching for their highlight reels).

Tim Mikkelson (New Zealand)

Age: 30

Fact: Has Won 5 Sevens Series 

Why you should watch him: 

While he may be the oldest player appearing on this list, Mikkelson is one of the most invaluable members of one of the best Sevens teams in the World, and if the start of the Series is anything to go by, he’s in flying form.

The other benefit of having a player like Mikkelson on your side is the fact everyone playing around him has their game improved as well. Mikkelson will be leading by example this year. Expect to see him playing his best on home turf in Wellington.

Dan Norton (England)

Age: 28

Fact: Scored 225 Tries in Sevens World Series (All Time)

Why you should watch him:

England’s Sevens top try scorer of all time has been in fine form in this World Series. Joint top Scorer with Seabelo Senatla, Norton was instrumental in getting England the trophy in Cape Town.

Norton will be hoping to put those try scoring skills to good use in Wellington. As one of the fastest players in the game, you’ll have to try hard to keep your eye on him this year.

Mesulame Kunavula (Fiji)

Age: 20

Fact: Youngest Player on the Fiji Team

Why you should watch him: Making his debut for the Fiji Sevens team at Wellington the

Making his debut for the Fiji Sevens team at Wellington the 20 year old, Mesulame Kunavula has impressed as the youngest member of the team. While he’s unlikely to be starting this weekend, if Mesu gets a chance to shine we might be seeing a lot more of him in 2017. Coach Gareth Baber has said that Kunavula’s presence will push everyone in the team to try harder.

Willy Ambaka (Kenya)

Age: 26

Fact: Nicknamed “The Kenyan Lomu” for his size and power with ball in hand.

Why you should watch him:

Ambaka must be one of the most terrifying players to go up against on the pitch. His strength makes him an extremely formidable winger and a problem for the opposition. But it sure is fun to watch. Ambaka has been making a name for himself on the Sevens circuit since 2011 and has only gotten better. Nominated for the

Nominated for the the 2013 IRB Sevens Player of the Year, we wouldn’t be surprised if he won it this year if Kenya can perform well.

Chris Dry (South Africa)

Age: 28

Fact: Was on the Gold Medal Winning South Africa Team for the 2014 Commonwealth Games

Why you should watch him:

The Blitzbokke are among the favourites to win the series this year and with players like Chris Dry, it’s easy to see why. South Africa beat Olympic Champions, Fiji, in Dubai at the end of last year thanks to a man of the match performance from Dry. He kept South Africa in the game with a late try which meant when Senalta went over with moments to go, South Africa clinched it.

While Dry has been part of the South Africa set up since 2010, this series feels like it could be his time to shine. Keep your eyes on the flanker and expect to see him lifting a few trophies before the series wraps up in London.

Are you excited for Sevens this year? Let us know in the comments or over on Twitter who you think will be lighting up the pitch in 2017.

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