Dubai: Dubai will have the honour of hosting the first ever round of the new IRB Women’s Sevens World Series at the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens.
Dubai is the first of four global stops on the inaugural women’s series, which pits the best sevens teams from around the world against each other ahead of qualification for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
The IRB Women’s Sevens World Series Round One in Dubai will be played over two days on November 30 and December 1, forming part of the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens, the three-day festival of rugby which attracts almost 100,000 fans every year.
The best men’s teams in the world will also be competing at 7he Sevens as part of the HSBC Sevens World Series, while an Invitation tournament featuring over 190 teams will also take place.
“It is a great honour for the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens to be chosen to host the debut of the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series,” said Tournament Director Jim Fitzsimons.
“We know from experience after hosting the women’s Challenge last year how popular it is with our supporters. We are delighted that, once again, we are able to bring them great rugby from the best players in the world.”
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “Dubai will guarantee the Series tremendous global exposure with the event sitting alongside the men’s, while the events in USA, China and the Netherlands reflect the incredible appetite for women’s rugby in these key markets, as seen with the superb results of their teams on the world stage in recent years.
“The IRB Women’s Sevens World Series is an exciting and significant development, not only for the women’s game but for all of rugby, as we continue to grow the game around the world.”
The system mirrors the men’s HSBC Sevens World Series, with each 12-team event featuring six core teams who will play across all four events and six teams who will be invited based on regional tournament rankings. The six core teams for the inaugural IRB Women’s Sevens World Series are Australia, Canada, England, Netherlands, New Zealand and USA.