(Reuters) – After collecting a fifth straight podium finish with a win at the USA Sevens in Las Vegas, the United States Eagles solidified their hold on top spot in the men’s World Rugby Sevens Series standings heading into this weekend’s action in Vancouver.
Having reached the midway point of the 10 tournament season, the U.S. tops the standings with 98 points, five clear of 2018 World Cup champions New Zealand on 93 and far ahead of 2016 Rio Olympic gold medallists Fiji with 84. England are fourth on 68.
The top four teams at the end of the season earn automatic qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
After four consecutive runnerup finishes in Dubai, Cape Town, Hamilton and Sydney, the United States reached the top of the podium on Sunday in Las Vegas with a 27-0 win over Samoa in the final.
The battle for Olympic qualification continues this weekend in Vancouver, with the Eagles looking to extend their run of podium finishes to six events.
(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Hugh Lawson)