The excitement is building for one of the most popular events in Dubai, with organisers announcing the sixteen teams which will contest the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens on 4-6 December at The Sevens.
The three day annual rugby extravaganza, now in its 45th year, is one of the biggest and most colourful events on the Dubai sporting and social calendar.
The event is hailed as a great showcase for Dubai, attracting the world’s best players and thousands of tourists from around the world who all enjoy being part of the wonderful atmosphere. In excess of 100,000 visitors are expected to attend this year’s event.
This year there is even more at stake as the top four finishers will secure a coveted place at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.
The International Rugby Board (IRB) has announced that the team line-up this year:
New Zealand (defending World Series champions)
Fiji (2013 Dubai Champions)
South Africa (2014 Commonwealth Games gold medalists)
Japan (replaced Spain)
The Dubai event is the second leg of the nine-leg HSBC Sevens World Series, with the opening round taking place in Australia from 11-12 October. The best players in the world then head to the UAE, before travelling to South Africa, New Zealand, USA, Hong Kong, Japan and Scotland, with the final round being played in England on 16-17 May 2015.
Dubai will also play host to the first round of the six-leg IRB Women’s Sevens World Series and the seven teams who qualified as core teams from last season’s series are defending series champions New Zealand, Dubai defending champions Australia, as well as England, Canada, USA, Russia and Spain.
After the qualification tournament in Hong Kong in September, Fiji, China, France and South Africa have won their way through to the line-up, with the remaining place in each round being open to an invited team.
The women will also be vying for qualification for the Olympic Games, with the top four finishers in the 2014/15 series earning an Olympic berth.
In addition over 228 teams will take part in the Invitation Tournament which is divided into 15 categories, and will attract many top international men and women, as well as under 18s, local Emirati, social and veterans teams.
The action off the pitch will again be a highlight of the event, with spectators encouraged to come in fancy dress and enjoy the huge range of entertainment on offer in the Rugby Village. Special provision will be made to ensure that it is a great family day out, with dedicated seating, child care facilities and plenty of activities and fun for all ages.
“We are very proud of our reputation as a great event for families and for those who are not necessarily die hard rugby supporters – we have invested in creating a truly carnival atmosphere with a designated family entrance, 2000 seats set aside in the Air BP family stand, crèche facilities and entertainment for children throughout the day,” said Gary Chapman, President Group Services and dnata, Emirates Group.
"Interest in the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens just grows and grows, and every year it becomes more popular, not just in Dubai, but with visitors from all over the world.
“It really is a great showcase for Dubai, a fantastic sporting occasion with the world’s top players on show, and it’s always a wonderful atmosphere,” he said. "This year the competition promises to be tougher than ever with qualification for the Olympics on offer. The standard of play will be exceptional” he added.
Tickets for the Dubai tournament will go on sale on 15 October with massive crowds once again expected to attend one of the region’s favourite sporting and social occasions of the year.
All the information about the event and tickets please go to dubairugby7s.com
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