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Rugby Sevens pools set for 2010 Games
Friday, 02 July 2010
The International Rugby Board together with the Commonwealth Games Federation has announced the pool draw for the Rugby Sevens event at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India on 11-12 October.
Marking almost exactly one year since Sevens' inclusion as an Olympic sport at the 121st IOC Session in Copenhagen, the tournament will be the first opportunity to witness its proven blend of high-octane action and competitive matches in a multi-sport Games environment.
Defending Commonwealth Games Sevens Champions New Zealand are top seeds and head Pool A, where they will face opening matches against World Series regulars Scotland and Canada as well as Caribbean champions Guyana, who also competed on the World Series this season in Las Vegas.New Zealand have won all three Rugby Sevens gold medals on offer so far - in 1998 (Kuala Lumpur), 2002 (Manchester) and 2006 (Melbourne).
2002 bronze medalists South Africa head Pool B and face three challenging opening ties against reigning Rugby World Cup Sevens champions Wales, Tonga and the host nation, India.
Reigning IRB Sevens World Series champions Samoa top Pool C and face matches on day one against ever-dangerous Kenya, the Cranes of Uganda and exciting Puk Puks of Papua New Guinea.2006 silver medalists England head Pool D and face a mouth-watering tie against Australia, who finished this year's World Series in third place behind the Samoans and New Zealand.
The two rugby superpowers will also face matches against the third African team in the draw, Namibia, as well as Sri Lanka.
"Having Sevens played at the Commonwealth Games plays an integral role in the ongoing development and promotion of Rugby around the world. The event features teams from Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania, North America and the Caribbean and continues to attract some of the world's top players, delivering exciting matches and attracting new fans," said IRB President, Bernard Lapasset.
"Sevens has consistently proven to be successful at the Commonwealth Games and this year we are particularly excited that the event is being held in India, where Rugby is reaching out to new, young audiences in a rapidly developing market for our sport. We are looking forward to what promises to be a memorable tournament for the global Rugby family."
Mike Hooper, Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation added: "With a record crowd of 50,000 at the final Rugby Sevens session in Melbourne in 2006, the Rugby Sevens tournament has become one of the most sought-after attractions at the Commonwealth Games, providing an excellent spectacle for both fans and television viewers.
"The inclusion of some of the world's best Sevens teams and star players from every corner of the world continue to broaden the Games' global appeal even further."
The Tournament Schedule will be announced in the coming weeks.
Sevens Commonwealth Games factfile:
- Rugby Sevens was introduced to the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur 1998
- The Rugby Sevens final at the Commonwealth Games 2006 in Melbourne was a record crowd for the seven-a-side format with 150,000 attending the three competition days.
- 16 teams take part in the Commonwealth Games, including the host nation
- Following Delhi, the next Commonwealth Games will be in Glasgow in 2014