Flying sideway. Rosko Specman may prove to be a crucial player for the Blitzbokke in San Francisco this weekend. Photo: David Moir/EPA

SAN FRANCISCO – Blitzboks' Rosco Specman will be one of the players to keep an eye on when the RWC Sevens 2018 kicks off on Friday at the AT&T Park in San Francisco, USA.

Besides the South African there are six other players to keep an eye on in the men's competition.

The South African flyer may have missed some of the 2018 world series through injury but he will be back for the Blitzboks in San Francisco. 

The team will be buoyed by their retention of the world series back in June, and Neil Powell's side have plenty of firepower in attack. 

Specman can sidestep you in a phone box and there are very few players who can shift their weight and change direction like him. 

It's a joy to watch on the series so the crowds at AT+T Park will be getting a spectacle over the three days. 

Perry Baker (USA)

The current World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year may have come into the competition having recovered from a slight injury to his shoulder but is looking as fresh as ever. 

The former American Football player, who was top try-scorer in the 2017 world series, scored some of the finest tries the sport has ever seen in 2018 and was crucial to his side's victory in Las Vegas in March. One to watch for sure, but blink and you will literally miss him.

Jerry Tuwai (Fiji)

Tuwai is a regular on our ones to watch lists, and rightly so. 

Despite Fiji failing to clinch the 2018 world series, the little magician was as good as ever over the course of the series causing defences endless headaches with his rapid footwork and incredible sense of space on a rugby sevens pitch. 

Fiji will play the winner of Japan v Uruguay in the round of 16, and Tuwai will be key if his side is to get into the championship side of the draw.

Fijian skipper Jerry Tuwai is one of his team's game-breakers. Photo: Raghavan Venugopal / www.photosport.nz
Fijian skipper Jerry Tuwai is one of his team's game-breakers. Photo: Raghavan Venugopal / www.photosport.nz

Ben O'Donnell (Australia) 

The Australian star scooped three DHL Impact Player awards on the world series and finished with 200 carries and 105 tackles overall, showing his class in defence and attack.

Australia will wait to play the winner of France and Jamaica in their round of 16 fixture, but look out for O'Donnell as his class will be integral to Australia's progress in the tournament.

Amenoni Nasilasila (Fiji)

The Fijian flyer has been incredible in the series so far this year. He's got strength, pace and a step that will trouble any defence. 

In a blockbuster team, Nasilasila stands out as one of the most impactful Fijian players. A member of the HSBC Sport Dream Team for the 2018 series, he'll be one of Fiji's biggest threats this weekend.

Willy Ambaka (Kenya)

A phenomenal talent, ruthless in defence and one of the most powerful players going forward. 

Kenya will start first in the pre-round of 16 against Tonga, but if they notch up a win will go through to play against Scotland in the round of 16 later in the day. 

A rejuvenated squad, led by Oscar Ayodi, will be focused around the power and pace of Ambaka and cheered on by plenty of Kenya fans who've made the journey out to San Francisco.

The powerfully-built Willy Ambaka is ruthless in defence for Kenya's Shujaa. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix
The powerfully-built Willy Ambaka is ruthless in defence for Kenya's Shujaa. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

Harry Glover (England)

England have Rugby World Cup Sevens-winning pedigree, having won the inaugural tournament back in 1993. A second title would rely on the likes of Glover, who at times looks more fitting in a Fijian squad with his one-handed offloads and jinking runs. 

Immense strength, which fans saw in Cape Town last year with a huge hand-off that lasted almost five seconds, Glover is a threat from anywhere on the pitch and will look to feed off enterprising runs from the likes of Tom Mitchell. 

African News Agency (ANA)


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