The pools have been announced for the first event of the 2010/11 HSBC Sevens World Series, on 3-4 December 2010 in Dubai.
Once again, the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens kicks off the eight-event World Series, which also visits South Africa, New Zealand, USA, Hong Kong, Australia, England and Scotland, climaxing at Murrayfield on 28-29 May 2011.
Pool A: Samoa, Kenya, Wales, Arabian Gulf
Pool B: New Zealand, Argentina, USA, Zimbabwe
Pool C: Australia, South Africa, Scotland, Russia
Pool D: Fiji, England, Portugal, France
Reigning World Series champions Samoa kick off their defence at Dubai’s purpose-built complex ‘The Sevens’ in Pool A with opening matches on day one against Kenya, last year’s Dubai Bowl winners Wales and the hosts, Arabian Gulf.
Defending Dubai champions New Zealand will travel as favourites, having recently scooped a fourth successive Commonwealth Games gold medal. Gordon Tietjens again coaches the New Zealanders, who face Pool B matches against Argentina, USA and Zimbabwe.
As the third-placed team in last year’s World Series standings, Australia top Pool C and face South Africa, whom they beat in the recent Commonwealth Games semi finals in Delhi and also in the 2009 Dubai Plate final. The Wallaby and Springbok Sevens outfits also face Scotland and the 2009 Dubai Shield winners, Russia.
Fiji top Pool D and face a tough trio of matches against European sides, firstly Portugal in the opening match of the tournament and then unpredictable France and crowd favourites England.
“The unique, desert atmosphere of Dubai is a superb venue to kick off the World Series and last year’s event was another fantastic advertisement for Sevens,” said the IRB’s Series Tournament Director, Beth Coalter.
“We expect even better this year and also look forward to kicking off the World Series’ new title sponsorship with HSBC in the best possible style.”
The 2010/2011 Dubai Sevens will again be played at Dubai’s iconic The Sevens
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset added: “Our new partnership with HSBC heralds an exciting era for Rugby Sevens. As we all look and work towards the Olympic Games in Rio in just six years time, this is another glowing endorsement of how far Sevens has come.
“We fully expect this, the 12th edition of the World Series, to be the biggest and the best ever.”
Click here to view to full match schedule for the Dubai Sevens.