By James Crook

171755957June 28 - Holders Wales notched up a win in the first game of their International Rugby Board (IRB) World Cup Sevens title defence, whilst British neighbours England and Scotland also got off to a winning start at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

Wales overpowered Uruguay in their opening tie, with two tries from Chris Knight of Llandovery helping them on their way to a comprehensive 33-5 win over the South Americans, though it was not enough to put them on pole position in Pool E as Fiji made light work of Tonga in the other pool match, scoring 45 unanswered points.

England also did as expected, defeating Portugal 21-7 thanks to tries from Tom Mitchell and a brace from scrum-half John Brake, but they also find themselves confined to second place in their pool after rivals Argentina smashed Hong Kong by 47-7 to take the top spot.

Scotland were made to fight hard for their 19-17 win over Japan, with tries coming from Chris Dean, Andrew Turnbull and Michael Fredo, whilst Pool B favourites South Africa hammered the host nation Russia by 31-0 to take the early momentum.

171726631World Series champions New Zealand were ruthless in their win over Canada on the opening day of the Rugby World Cup Sevens

HSBC Sevens World Series champions New Zealand got off to a decent start, defeating Canada by 31-12, whilst the USA were run close by Georgia, but hung on to take the points with a 26-19 win.

The Philippines were given a baptism of fire in their first Rugby World Cup Sevens appearance as they had a 45-5 defeat inflicted on them by Kenya in Pool C, whilst Samoa edged out Zimbabwe by 19-17 to take second spot after the opening ties.

In Pool A, tries from Matt Lucas, Bernard Foley and Lewis Holland secured a 21-0 win for Australia against Spain, whilst France recorded a 24-7 victory over Tunisia, with Julien Candelon, Terry Bouhraoua, Steeve Barry and Jonathan Laugel getting on the scoresheet.

The pool stage will continue on Saturday, before the latter stages are played on Sunday (June 30).

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