Pic: Oktoberfest 7s Facebook Page
This weekend eight of the world’s best 7s teams are competing on German soil at the second edition of the Oktoberfest 7s. Hosted at the iconic Olympic Stadium in Munich, this tournament promises to be the perfect occasion to test the form for the upcoming World Sevens Series at the end of the year in Dubai. Although Germany is not necessarily known as a hotspot for international rugby, the idea of running a 7s tournament next to the the world's largest Volksfest, in a stunning stadium with top-class teams, has proved to be a game-changer.
When and Where?
The Oktoberfest 7s takes place at the Olympic Stadium (Capacity 69,250) in Munich (map). The stadium hosted the Olympics in 1972 and was the home of Bayern Munich until they moved to the Allianz Arena in 2005. The matches will be played on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd of September. Fiji and USA will kick-off the weekend at 14:00 local time (GMT +1) on Saturday, while New Zealand and England complete the pool stage on Saturday evening. On Sunday the knock-out matches get underway at 11:00 AM (GMT +1) with the fifth-place play-off. The cup final is penciled in for around 15:00 (GMT +1).
Where Can I See It?
Unfortunately, the tournament won’t be broadcasted in the UK, however, in Germany it will be shown by Sport 1, which also provides an online stream. For a full list of broadcasters click here.
Player To Watch | Fabian Heimpel
In recent years the German 7s team has made huge progress, reaching some remarkable milestones. One of the outstanding victories was the win of the European Championships in Poland this summer, a well-deserved reward following heavy disappointment on missing out to qualify for the World Sevens Series and the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year.
Pic: Fabian Heimpel Facebook Page
Flyhalf Fabian Heimpel has been one of the pillars, transforming the Germans into a well-respected side on the world circuit. The 29-year old brings heaps of experience to the table, playing the game of 7s and 15s for his country and home team RG Heidelberg for more than a decade.
This weekend offers a huge opportunity to showcase his vast skillset against the worlds best sides in front of a massive home crowd.
Who’s the favourite?
With the top three teams of the previous World Sevens Series, Fiji, New Zealand and the USA all participating, it will be tough to pick a clear favourite. Although all three of this magnificinet trio underlined their class during last seasons series, Fiji was the side with the most tournament wins (5) while the Eagles only managed to win their home tournament. New Zealand won the opener in Dubai and Sydney earlier this year, but failed to secure another 22-pointer thereafter.
Pool A | England, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa
Pool B | Fiji, USA, Germany, France
DAY ONE FIXTURES
Fiji vs USA
Germany vs France
England vs Australia
New Zealand vs South Africa
Fiji vs France
Germany vs USA
England vs South Africa
New Zealand vs Australia