Chilean captain Felipe Brangier and speedster Julio Blanc have been named in the official HSBC Dream Team for the qualifying bracket of the Hong Kong 7s. Brangier’s strength and leadership earned him a spot among the forwards while the outstanding Blanc scored five tries in the pool stages and also showed off his exemplary defensive abilities. The duo were the only Americas players selected to the team.
Two Spanish forwards join Brangier up front. The towering Iñaki Villanueva was arguably the standout forward of the competition and chosen by many as Spain’s best player. Curiously Pedro Martín is the other name listed but this is almost certainly a mistake meant to read Ignacio Martín. The veteran forward’s huge work rate and experience helped set the platform for his team’s victory and return to core status for the 2017-18 circuit.
Papua New Guinea flyer Wesley Vali is given the nod out wide after leading his team with four tries and electric footwork. A pair of Germans round out the backs with midfield standout Phil Szczesny selected along with playmaker Bastian Himmer, something of a surprise given his role as an impact sub for the Germans rather than a starter.