The pools and schedule for the first combined men’s and women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series event of the 2020 season have been announced.
Held on 5-7 December, 2019, the Dubai Sevens marks the start of this season’s men’s competition as well as the race for Olympic glory as rugby sevens prepares to make its second appearance on the Olympic Games programme at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Kenya 7s are in pool D with South Africa, England and Spain. SA and Spain are set to compete at Safari 7s this weekend presenting the trio with a good chance to test their guns before Dubai 7s.
New Zealand will be looking to retain their title in Dubai as they take on Wales in another Pool C encounter.
Reigning world series champions, Fiji will play their first game of the season against Japan, who are welcomed as the men’s invitational side.
After winning the qualifier event in Hong Kong this year, Ireland earned promotion to the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and will kick off their campaign as a core team against 2019 series runners-up, USA.
Both men’s and women’s USA teams recorded their highest ever finishes on the world series last season, with the men’s side medaling in all but three of the ten events and the women only missing out on a podium finish in Dubai.
“As the first combined men’s and women’s event of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2020, and with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on the horizon, Dubai marks the start of a monumental season for our sport,” said World Rugby Chairman, Sir Bill Beaumont.
“Moving all men’s and women’s games to the main pitch at the Sevens Stadium is a huge step forward in our aim for parity across the game which will provide fans with non-stop rugby that is higher in quality than ever before."
Dubai 7s pooling:
Pool A: Fiji, France, Argentina, Japan
Pool B: USA, Australia, Scotland, Ireland
Pool C: New Zealand, Samoa, Canada, Wales
Pool D: South Africa, England, Spain, Kenya
-Additional material derived from World Rugby