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
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.
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
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.