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Wed 4 Dec 2019 | 04:27

PREVIEW: Dubai Sevens

PREVIEW: Dubai Sevens
Wed 4 Dec 2019 | 04:27
PREVIEW: Dubai Sevens
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THE MILESTONE: Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the Dubai Rugby Sevens kicks off on December 5 and will bring together 20 teams from across the globe for three days of non-stop sevens.

Eleven teams have qualified for Tokyo 2020 so far with last season’s world series acting as the principal route for qualification with the top four teams in the men’s competitions automatically qualifying. Only one spot is still up for grabs.

Samoa and Canada will get the proceedings underway on day one. They will be joined by defending Dubai champions New Zealand and Wales in Pool C.

While Australia, Scotland, 2019 runners-up USA and Ireland are drawn in Pool B.

Fiji will face France, Argentina and invitational outfit Japan in Pool A, with England, Spain, South Africa and Kenya lining up in Pool D.

BlitzBoks’ new captain Siviwe Soyizwapi took over the armband from Philip Snyman at the start of the 2019/20 season and hopes to respond to the new responsibility in the same way he did when he became the team’s main strike weapon out wide, and duly dotted down 89 times in 28 tournaments.

“This is a strong group of players, not only in skills and talent, but also leadership,” said Soyizwapi.

“We have a variety of skillful players in the squad, some playmakers, some steppers and some deadly finishers. If it all comes together in this group, we will be successful.

“We said we just wanted to unite as a group and execute as a group. We have a lot that we want to try and a lot of stuff we have worked on, so if we can do that together as a group, we will be strong.”

In recent seasons, the Blitzboks’ gave South African rugby supporters many reasons to smile, and with the Springboks having won the World Cup, Soyizwapi feels they even have more to aspire to.

“In fact, what the Boks did in Japan inspires us to also go out and do great things,” he said. “It was massive for the nation and for us as well. It motivated us and we are keen to keep the South African flag flying high.”

Olympic gold medallists and reigning world series champions, Fiji are also hoping to replicate their success this season.

“We love what we do, we know it’s tough and it will be tougher than last year. When you are world champions it is very hard to stay at that level, but it’s a good challenge for the boys,” said captain Paula Dranisinukula.

 

PREVIEW: Dubai Sevens

PREVIEW: Dubai Sevens

Schedule
(Kick-off is local time – GMT plus four hours)

Thursday, December 5

Samoa v Canada – 17.06
New Zealand v Wales – 17.28
Australia v Scotland – 17.50
USA v Ireland – 18.12
France v Argentina – 18.40
Fiji v Japan – 19.02
England v Spain – 19.32
South Africa v Kenya – 19.45

Friday, December 6

Samoa v Wales – 11.14
New Zealand v Canada – 11.36
Australia v Ireland – 11.58
USA v Scotland – 12.20
France v Japan – 12.42
Fiji v Argentina – 13.04
England v Kenya – 13.26
South Africa v Spain – 13.48
Canada v Wales – 17.06
New Zealand v Samoa – 17.28
Scotland v Ireland – 17.50
USA v Australia – 18.12
Argentina v Japan – 18.40
Fiji v France – 19.02
Spain v Kenya – 19.32
South Africa v England – 19.45

Source: @WorldRugby7s

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PREVIEW: Dubai Sevens | Rugby365