Blitzboks draw Scotland, Samoa in Dubai

2015-11-13 13:22
Neil Powell (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - The Springbok Sevens were drawn with Scotland, Samoa and newly-promoted core team Russia for the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens on December 4/5.

According to the draw announced by World Rugby on Friday, South Africa are the top-seeds in Pool B for the opening round of the bigger HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. The Springbok Sevens are the defending Dubai champions.

With global excitement building ahead of Sevens’ biggest season, the world’s top players - representing 28 national teams - will compete in Dubai from December 3-5. The 12-team women’s tournament will be played on December 3/4 and the 16-team men’s event on December 4/5.

In the men’s competition, reigning series champions Fiji head Pool A and kick off proceedings against Canada with further ties against Japan and Argentina.

Twelve-time series champions New Zealand face matches against USA, as well as France and Portugal in Pool C, while in Pool D England will compete against Australia, Wales and Kenya.

The South Africans start their Dubai campaign against powerful Samoa. They then face Russia in the mid-afternoon, before tackling Scotland later in the evening on the opening day.

In the women's draw, New Zealand will kick off both their series and Dubai title defences against France, Russia and Brazil in Pool A. Rivals Canada and USA meet in Pool B alongside Fiji and Ireland while Australia are the top seed in Pool C where they'll face England, Spain and series newcomers Japan.

World Rugby chairperson Bernard Lapasset said: "These are exciting and ground-breaking times for rugby sevens as we head into an Olympic Games year and now is the opportunity for our top men's and women's players to showcase their talents to new audiences on sport's greatest stage.

"With new iconic locations, new star players and anticipated record attendances, broadcast and social media exposure, never before has there been so much excitement ahead of a new season of sevens. The road to Rio 2016 promises to be both competitive and compelling and I am sure we will attract, engage and inspire record numbers of new fans along the way.”

In his reaction to the Dubai draw, Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell said his team will approach each pool match on its merit.

“With so much at stake this season, the bigger World Series and the Olympics, it will be vital for us to keep our focus and concentrate on the most immediate task,” said Powell.

“In this respect it is Dubai, where we have a strong pool. Day one is very important and our approach will be to stick to our system and strive for the desired outcomes.”

HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2015/16:


Round 1 - Dubai, December 4/5

Round 2 - Cape Town, December 12/13


Round 3 - Wellington, January 30/31

Round 4 - Sydney, February 6/7

Round 5 - Las Vegas, March 4-6

Round 6 - Vancouver, March 12/13

Round 7 - Hong Kong, April 8-10

Round 8 - Singapore, April 16/17

Round 9 - Paris, May 14/15

Round 10 - London, May 21/22

Core teams: Fiji, South Africa, New Zealand, England, Australia, USA, Scotland, Argentina, Canada, Samoa, France, Wales, Kenya, Portugal, Russia

HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series 2015/16:


Round 1 – Dubai, December 3/4


Round 2 – Sao Paulo, February 20/21

Round 3 – Atlanta, April 8/9

Round 4 – Langford, April 16/17

Women's series core teams: New Zealand, Canada, Australia, England, USA, France, Russia, Fiji, Spain, Ireland, Japan.


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