Pic: World Rugby
Following on from the opening round of the Women’s World Sevens Series last month in Colorado, the 12 teams head into the second stage of the series tomorrow at the legendary Sevens Stadium in Dubai.
The competition kicks off day one with the Pool C match between Canada and France in a repeat of the bronze final at the HSBC USA Women’s Sevens last month where Canada triumphed 28-0. Spain and Fiji are the other teams in the pool.
In Pool B, defending Dubai champions Australia, one of only two teams to have won the women’s title in Dubai, are set to take on England, USA and new core team China.
Series leaders New Zealand will face Ireland, Russia and invitational side Kenya in Pool A.
At the captains’ launch, Australia skipper Sharni Williams said: “We have come in with some pretty high spirits. Off the back of Colorado, we needed to look at ourselves in the mirror and think about what we need to improve on and achieve at this tournament.
“It’s a tournament that gets us up no matter what. We have been here a number of times and we have been pretty successful here, we want to keep that rolling, we’ve got a lot of pride on the line.”
When and Where?
The second stage of the Women’s World Sevens Series takes place at the Sevens Stadium in Dubai (Capacity 40,000), on Thursday 29th and Friday 30th of October.
The matches kick-off on Thursday at 12:00 local time (08:00 GMT) and Friday at 09:00 local time (05:00 GMT).The final is scheduled for 17:15 local time (13:15 GMT) on Friday.
Where Can I See It?
The matches will be live-streamed on the World Rugby YouTube channel.
Who’s the favourite?
New Zealand’s women’s team had the perfect start to the series when they beat USA in the final of round one. The convincing performance by the Black Ferns in Colorado, should make them the top-favourite for this weekend.
Their closest rivals Australia, had a rather disappointing opener in the US and are now desperate to bounce back and defend the title in the desert. There is no doubt that the team in green and gold have the quality to win silverware.
Pic: World Rugby
However, the North-American teams USA and Canada just shown how great they’ve developed during the break, so it will be interesting to find out if they can continue to compete among the top four.
Although France lost the Bronze final against Canada in October, Les Bleus showed some brilliant 7s throughout the two days and might also be an interesting contender for the title.
One to Watch
Canada won the Bronze final in the opening round convincingly and one reason for their strong performance is 22-year old Charity Williams. She has been part of the Canadian side which one Bronze in Rio 2016 and Silver at the Youth Olympics in Nanjing four years ago. With plenty of speed, power and a fine passing game she is a complete 7s player.
New Zealand, Ireland, Russia, Kenya
USA, Australia, England, China
Canada, France, Spain, Fiji
DAY ONE FIXTURES (ALL TIMES ARE LOCAL TIMES / GMT +4)
FRANCE V SPAIN 12:00
CANADA V FIJI 12:22
AUSTRALIA V ENGLAND 12:44
USA V CHINA 13:06
IRELAND V RUSSIA 13:28
NEW ZEALAND V KENYA 13:50
FRANCE V FIJI 14:56
CANADA V SPAIN 15:18
AUSTRALIA V CHINA 15:40
USA V ENGLAND 16:02
IRELAND V KENYA 16:24
NEW ZEALAND V RUSSIA 16:46
SPAIN V FIJI 17:53
CANADA V FRANCE 18:15
ENGLAND V CHINA
USA V AUSTRALIA 18:59
RUSSIA V KENYA 7S 19:21
NEW ZEALAND V IRELAND 19:43