DRAW ANNOUNCED FOR GOLD COAST SEVENS

The Qantas Men’s Sevens team will play Samoa, Argentina and Scotland on Day One of the HSBC Sevens World Series opener, following the release today of the tournament draw.

Skilled Park will host 16 international teams playing 45 matches on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 October for the opener of the nine Round HSBC World Sevens Series.

Holders of the World Series and Rugby World Cup Sevens trophies, New Zealand take on USA in the opening match of the tournament.

In their last meeting, at the World Cup in Moscow earlier this year, the USA lead NZ into the final stages of a tense match only to lose after the final siren.

If this opening game is anything to go by, the tournament is sure to provide first-class play throughout the two-day tournament.

Boosted by an equal fifth placing in Moscow, the Australian squad is looking to kick off the season with a home-crowd advantage.

Qantas Men’s Sevens coach, Michael O’Connor, acknowledged that Samoa and Argentina finished above the Australians last year, so it will be a very competitive pool.

“Argentina is coming off a very strong recent performance in Columbia at the World Games where they finished a close second to South Africa,” O’Connor said.

“Scotland was one of the most improved sides last year, showing the benefit of an experienced player roster, combined with a full time centralised program. Scotland has had some significant wins over many of the top teams.

“Samoa must be one of the favourites to win the title, with so much local talent.”

Qantas Men’s Sevens captain, Ed Jenkins, said the side was looking forward to getting back to the Gold Coast and that the draw would provide some tough matches.

“It’s hard to know where teams are currently at with their pre-season training so our focus is solely on our own preparation at the moment and where we can improve our game,” Jenkins said.

“Over the years we have had some great battles with Samoa and there is no doubt that it will be a very physical encounter as usual.

“Argentina has been a side to knock us out in crucial games over the past few years so we will have to be at our best if we are to beat them in a month’s time.”

Several much-anticipated match-ups on day one promise to give fans a taste of finals-like action.

Last season’s runner-up South Africa faces World Cup runner up England in Pool B.

Defending Gold Coast Sevens champions Fiji heads up Pool C playing Wales, Portugal and Canada, which now boasts a full-time program.

The Pools:

POOL A

POOL B

POOL C

POOL D

New Zealand

South Africa

Fiji

Samoa

Kenya

England

Wales

Australia

USA

France

Canada

Argentina

Tonga

Spain

Portugal

Scotland

 

Full Match Schedule

The IRB’s new General Manager for Rugby Sevens, Avan Lee, was present at the draw in London and believes that the Gold Coast event marks the start of the three most important seasons for the sport.

“This is a pivotal time for Sevens with three years until our debut at the Olympic Games and the Gold Coast is an exciting and eye-catching place for the HSBC Sevens World Series to kick off,” said Lee.

“The Series is growing as a sporting brand all the time, attracting hundreds of thousands through the turnstiles around the world and millions more on TV. Working with the Australian Rugby Union and the eight other hosts I’m sure we’re in for another superb season.”

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About Dave

I totally love sport. Rugby, cricket and soccer, but my first love will always be rugby. Other than sport I write my own poems and other interestings articles. I also love cooking. A man of many talents. When it come to Cricket I'm a Cape Cobras, Kolkata Knight Riders and Proteas supporter. Soccer there is only one team and that is Man United and Germany internationally. Other than that I'm a loving father and husband.

Posted on September 11, 2013, in Inetrnational Sevens. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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