Preview: Dubai Sevens

Wed, 28 Nov 2012 16:06
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The stage is set for the biggest and best Dubai Sevens in the tournament's 43-year history, Round Two of the 2012/13 IRB World Series.

The stage is set for the biggest and best Dubai Sevens in the tournament's 43-year history, Round Two of the 2012/13 IRB World Series.

Aiming to stamp their authority on the tournament again will be defending champions England, who are aiming for a hat-trick of wins at the tournament on Friday (November 30) and Saturday (December 1).

They finished third in the 2011/12 Sevens World Series and have made a disappointing start to this campaign, but coach Ben Ryan is hoping they can put a poor showing at the recent Gold Coast Sevens behind them and return to the winners' podium for a third successive year.
"We are desperate to make sure we do everything we possibly can to make it three titles in a row," he said.

"We've got an excellent record in Dubai, better than any other team in the world in the last five years, and now we need to use that to our advantage. We want to retain our trophy and the lads just love playing here."

Hoping to rain on England's parade will be Series champions New Zealand, who have made a strong start to the season, finishing second behind Fiji in Australia.
"Dubai is a climate we like playing in and a tournament we want to win again," said coach, Gordon Tietjens.

"England have won it over the past couple of years, but there are six or seven teams that could win it. Dubai is my favourite tournament out of all of them, it's a great tournament to win. The facilities are first-rate and the support that Emirates Airline gives us is just fantastic.

"The rugby at international level is the highest it can be and Sevens rugby has become a lot stronger in the second fields over the past three or four years. It has made it more interesting and the number of supporters has grown significantly and I believe that the support of the spectators in Dubai is one of the main reasons behind that."

Renowned broadcaster Nigel Starmer-Smith said it's fascinating to see the tactical changes and contrasts in player personnel amongst the 16 squads in the men's event - as coaches almost certainly look to unearth new talent in a season that ends with the Sevens World Cup.

"Take, for example, the Gold Coast champions Fiji," Starmer-Smith, adding: "They won in Surfers Paradise with seven of their side making their debuts. But now head coach Alifereti Dere rings the changes again. In come another seven players who have never yet played for Fiji - I guess his unique problem is that he has too many outstanding players to choose from!

"There are others testing out newcomers too. New Zealand have three rookies alongside two stars from the past on recall, Sherwin Stowers and Kurt Baker, who both last played together at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

"Michael O'Connor has had little choice but to test out new blood for Australia, with four injured from the last tournament in Australia, while Portugal, Wales, Kenya, South Africa, USA, England, Scotland and Argentina also try out new young players interspersed with some former stars, Sidney Ashioya back for Kenya, John Houston for Scotland and Ollie Phillips back for England.

"You get the impression that these first few tournaments are serving a dual purpose for the coaches: obviously to win Series points, but also to sort out early on who might be in contention for a run-out at the World Cup in Moscow next June.

"Amazingly, just three of the 16 countries have taken the men's title in Dubai since the start of the World Series: New Zealand won the first in 1999 and have won six times, South Africa have taken three Cups and England four, including the last two.

"Now the field is wide open, isn't it time that Fiji, Samoa, Australia, even Argentina turned the tables? Fiji last won here in 1998."

Day One schedule - Friday, November 30:
(Kick-off times are local - GMT plus four hours)
Match 1: France v Canada, 09.06
Match 2: Australia v United States, 09.28
Match 3: Fiji v Spain, 09.50
Match 4: Kenya v Scotland, 10.12
Match 5: New Zealand v Wales, 10.36
Match 6: Argentina v Russia, 10.58
Match 7: South Africa v England, 11.20
Match 8: Samoa  v Portugal, 11.42
Match 9: France v United States, 12.52
Match 10: Australia v Canada, 13.14
Match 11: Fiji v Scotland, 13.36
Match 12: Kenya v Spain, 13.58
Match 13: New Zealand v Russia, 14.22
Match 14: Argentina v Wales, 14.44
Match 15: South Africa v Portugal, 15.06
Match 16: Samoa  v England, 15.28
Match 17: Canada v United States, 16.38
Match 18: Spain v Scotland, 17.00
Match 19: Wales v Russia, 17.22
Match 20: England v Portugal, 17.44
Match 21: France v Australia, 18.36
Match 22: Fiji v Kenya, 18.58
Match 23: New Zealand v Argentina, 19.22
Match 24: South Africa v Samoa, 19.44


There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 09 October 2015
Western Province v EP Kings 16h00 Newlands
Pumas v Blue Bulls 16h00 Mbombela Stadium
New Zealand v Tonga 19h00 Newcastle
Sat, 10 October 2015
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 12h00 Bloemfontein
Samoa v Scotland 13h30 Newcastle
Golden Lions v Griquas 14h00 Ellis Park
Australia v Wales 15h45 London
England v Uruguay 19h00 Manchester
Sun, 11 October 2015
Argentina v Namibia 11h00 Leicester
Italy v Romania 13h30 Exeter
France v Ireland 15h45 Cardiff
United States v Japan 19h00 Gloucester
Wed, 07 October 2015
Namibia v Georgia 16 | 17
South Africa v United States 64 | 0
Tue, 06 October 2015
Fiji v Uruguay 47 | 15
Canada v Romania 15 | 17
Sun, 04 October 2015
Ireland v Italy 16 | 9
Argentina v Tonga 45 | 16
Zebre v Scarlets 8 | 20
Sat, 03 October 2015
England v Australia 13 | 33
Connacht v Cardiff Blues 36 | 31
South Africa v Scotland 34 | 16
Samoa v Japan 5 | 26
Leinster v Dragons 37 | 13
Griquas v Sharks 20 | 45
Pumas v Free State Cheetahs 37 | 37
Fri, 02 October 2015
New Zealand v Georgia 43 | 10
Team P W D L Pts
Argentina Sevens 9 0 0 0 92
Wales Sevens 9 0 0 0 91
France Sevens 9 0 0 0 73
Scotland Sevens 9 0 0 0 48
United States Sevens 9 0 0 0 41
Kenya Sevens 9 0 0 0 40
New Zealand Sevens 9 3 0 0 167
Fiji Sevens 9 3 0 0 161
England Sevens 9 1 0 0 135
Samoa Sevens 9 1 0 0 133
South Africa Sevens 9 0 0 0 125
Australia Sevens 9 0 0 0 112
Canada Sevens 9 0 0 0 33
Spain Sevens 9 0 0 0 19
Portugal Sevens 9 0 0 0 18