Rugby News & Views From an American Perspective
The pools and match schedule have been announced for the second event of the 2010/11 HSBC Sevens World Series, on December 10-11, 2010 in George, South Africa.
Once again, the Emirates Airline South Africa Sevens follows on from the season-opener in Dubai and will be played at the Outeniqua Park Stadium, nestled in the country’s picturesque Garden Route.
The USA has picked up a very tough draw for the tournament as they have been pooled with defending World Series champions Samoa in Pool B. They’ll also face off against the always dangerous Fiji and then finish with Namibia in pool play.
Australia scooped the most Series points from the last two events of the 2009/10 World Series, winning in London and reaching the final in Edinburgh, and start the George event as number one seeds, top of Pool A. Michael O’Connor’s young side faces three tough European opponents on day one with matches against Scotland, Wales and France.
Defending South Africa Sevens champions New Zealand head Pool C and face three tough matches against Kenya, Russia and England.
Hosts South Africa top Pool D and will play Portugal, neighboring Zimbabwe and the Pumas of Argentina in the final match on day one.
“South Africa’s event has gone from strength to strength over the past few years and its growth in George underlines the proven formula of Sevens and the World Series,” said the IRB’s Series Tournament Director, Beth Coalter.
“There is no better example of the diversity of the Series as a global sporting product than these first two events – from the desert of Dubai to the stunning green and mountains of South Africa’s Garden Route.
“There are now just a few weeks until the start of the new HSBC Sevens World Series and we’re all looking forward to another record-breaking season.”
The USA 7’s team returns to camp in a few weeks as Head Coach Al Caravelli will be charged with the task of whittling down a bevy of hopefuls into a twelve man squad to travel to Dubai and George.
After the opening two tournaments, the eight-event HSBC Sevens World Series will break until February before taking its unique brand of entertainment to New Zealand, USA, Hong Kong, Australia, England and Scotland, climaxing at Murrayfield on May 28-29, 2011.