Dubai and South Africa IRB Sevens World Series Schedules Announced
The finest Sevens teams in the world will first battle to prise the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens trophy from England at the Exiles Ground on December 1st and 2nd, before travelling to South Africa's Garden Route and George to challenge Fiji's title defence.
The Dubai Tournament, now in its 37th year, has grown to become the biggest sporting event in the Middle East and, with record advance ticket sales, is on course for a capacity 60,000 crowd over the two competition days.
In Pool A number one seeds and reigning Series champions Fiji will face Australia, Kenya and new Series core team Portugal. England, looking to make it a hat-trick of victories in Dubai, top Pool B and will play France, Scotland and Zimbabwe.
South Africa, third in last season’s IRB Sevens World Series, face Argentina, Canada and Tunisia in Pool C. In Pool D five times Series Champions New Zealand face Samoa, Wales and Tournament hosts Arabian Gulf.
The following weekend the teams will travel to George, South Africa for the second Tournament of the season, the Emirates Airline South Africa Sevens where Fiji will be looking to retain the title it won last year.
Waisale Serevi’s side will open its campaign against Canada, before rounding off the pool stages with matches against Zimbabwe and Samoa. England again top Pool B, but will play Argentina, Wales and Portugal. Home side South Africa heads Pool C and will face France, Kenya and Uganda, while New Zealand face Australia, Scotland and Tunisia in Pool D.
The 2006/07 IRB Sevens World Series promises to be the most competitive to date and follows on from a 2005/06 Series that yielded yet more record-breaking figures while an unprecedented 37 teams participated in one or more of the eight Series Tournaments.
“Last season’s IRB Sevens World Series broke all previous records and I have no doubt that the 2006/07 Series will continue to build on that success. In terms of attendance and broadcast figures the Series has never been more popular, while the IRB is committed to increasing funding for the IRB Sevens World Series through its Sevens Strategic Plan to the tune of £2.5 million over the next five years,” said IRB Sevens World Series Tournament Director Beth Coalter.
“The IRB Sevens World Series is viewed by Unions as a key player and coach development tool and over the past couple seasons the likes of Matthew Tait, James Hook, Bryan Habana and Tom Varndell advanced from the Series to make names for themselves at full Test level. With 2007 being a Rugby World Cup year, the younger players competing in the Series will also undoubtedly be looking at the long list of ex-Sevens players to have gone on and played in a Rugby World Cup,” added Coalter.
The full schedules for Dubai and South Africa can be found at the IRB Sevens World Series official website: http://www.irbsevens.com/