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Rugby: Aussie hosts face Samoa in HSBC Sevens World Series opener

Australia pictured in action against eventual champions Fiji at last year’s Gold Coast Sevens. Photo: IRB.

Australia pictured in action against eventual champions Fiji at last year’s Gold Coast Sevens. Photo: IRB.

September 11, 2013: Hosts Australia have been drawn to face Samoa, Argentina and Scotland in Pool D of next month’s Gold Coast Sevens, the opening round of the 2013/14 HSBC Sevens World Series.

 

The International Rugby Board (IRB), in conjunction with the Australian Rugby Union (ARU), announced the pools and match schedule for the tournament, which will be held on October 12-13.

 

Pop star Sophie Monk is the event's ambassador. Photo: ARU.

Pop star Sophie Monk is the event’s ambassador. Photo: ARU.

As the fourth-ranked team in the 2012/13 series, Samoa are the top seed in Pool D, while Australia will attempt to win a home Sevens title for the first time since 2002 in Brisbane.

 

Defending series champions New Zealand head Pool A and will face Kenya, USA and regional qualifiers Tonga, who are the only non-core team.

 

Last season’s runners-up South Africa are the top seed in Pool B and face matches against European challengers England, France and Spain.

 

Defending Gold Coast champions Fiji head Pool C and face opening-day matches against Wales, Canada and Portugal.

 

Avan Lee, the IRB’s new General Manager for Rugby Sevens, attended the draw in London with Beth Coalter, Series Tournament Director, Andrea de Vincentiis, HSBC’s Head of Rugby Sponsorship, and Murray Barnett, IRB’s Head of Commercial, Broadcast and Marketing.

 

Lee believes the Gold Coast event marks the start of the three most important seasons for the sport.

 

“This is a pivotal time for rugby sevens with three years until our debut at the Olympic Games and the Gold Coast is an exciting and eye-catching place for the HSBC Sevens World Series to kick off,” Lee said.

 

“The series is growing as a sporting brand all the time, attracting hundreds of thousands through the turnstiles around the world and millions more on TV. Working with the Australian Rugby Union and the eight other hosts, I’m sure we’re in for another superb season.”

 

The top four seeds for the Gold Coast draw were based on the final series standings for 2012/13. For the rest of the 2013/14 season, teams will be placed and drawn as follows:
 first, second, third and fourth ranked teams in each tournament will be placed top of Pools A, B, C and D respectively for the next event.

 

Teams placed fifth to eighth will be drawn into a second ‘band’, with the first-drawn team allocated second in Pool A, the second-drawn team allocated second in Pool B and so on. The same process will occur for teams placed ninth to 12th (a third band) and 12th to 16th (fourth band), which will include a non-core team.

 

The other events on the 2013/14 series will be held in UAE (November 29-30), South Africa (December 7-8), USA (January 24-26), New Zealand (February 7-8), Japan (March 22-23), Hong Kong (March 28-30), Scotland (May 3-4) and England (May 10-11).

 

For the Gold Coast Sevens, teams were placed and banded based on the final standings of the 2012/2013 Series:

1. New Zealand

2. South Africa

3. Fiji

4. Samoa

5. Kenya

6. England

7. Wales

8. Australia

9. France

10. Argentina

11. USA

12. Canada

13. Scotland

14. Portugal

15. Spain

* Tonga are the regional qualifier for the FORU (Oceania) region

 

For pools, visit: http://www.irbsevens.com/destination/edition=9/pools.html

 

For schedule, visit: http://www.irbsevens.com/destination/edition=9/fixturesresults.html

 

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