The match schedule for the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens 2018, which takes place on 29 November-1 December, has been confirmed.
Dubai again hosts both the men’s and women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, acting as the men’s series opener and round two of the women’s, following on from in the opening round in Glendale, Colorado, last month.
Twenty-eight teams will compete over the course of three days, 15 men’s core sides and 11 women’s core sides, with Zimbabwe’s men and Kenya’s women named as the invitational teams.
This year has an added incentive for both men’s and women’s teams, who are not only competing for the coveted world series title but also for their ticket to Tokyo 2020, as the 2019 series acts as principle route for Olympic Games qualification.
“It’s an exciting season for rugby sevens as we enter another Olympic qualification year ahead of Tokyo 2020," said World Rugby Chair Bill Beaumont.
“The recent women’s series opening round in Glendale, Colorado was a fantastic display of sevens action with the women’s competition already proving to be highly competitive.
“We will be watching closely as the men’s teams not only get their season underway in Dubai but also compete to secure their ticket to Tokyo 2020.”
The women’s competition kicks off day one (29 November) of the Dubai Rugby Sevens and in Pool B, defending Dubai champions Australia, one of only two teams to have won the women’s title in Dubai, are set to take on England, recent HSBC USA Women’s Sevens runners-up USA – who they beat 34-0 in last year’s Dubai final, and new core team China.
The men’s tournament kicks off on day two (30 November) and in Pool D, Australia will meet England, who will act as Team GB’s Olympic qualifying team for Tokyo 2020, Canada and Japan, who return as a core team after winning the series qualifying tournament in Hong Kong earlier this year.