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- High praise for SAFA from FIFA president Infantino
- Park wins play-off in Classic duel against Dlamini
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- Porteous back to defend at Joburg Open after tough year
- Two more medals as SA finish with five in Egypt
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Blitzboks face Samoa first at Dubai Sevens tournament
- Updated: November 13, 2015
The Blitzbok national sevens side will take on Scotland, Samoa and newly-promoted core team Russia in the pool stages of the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens on 4-5 December.
According to the draw announced by World Rugby on Friday, South Africa are the top-seeds in Pool B for the opening round of the bigger HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. The Springbok Sevens are the defending Dubai champions.
With global excitement building ahead of Sevens’ biggest season, the world’s top players – representing 28 national teams – will compete in Dubai from 3-5 December. The 12-team women’s tournament will be played on 3-4 December and the 16-team men’s event on 4 and 5 December.
In the men’s competition, reigning series champions Fiji head Pool A and kick off proceedings against Canada with further ties against Japan and Argentina.
New Zealand, 12-time series champions, face matches against USA, as well as France and Portugal in Pool C, while in Pool D England will compete against Australia, Wales and Kenya.
The South Africans start their Dubai campaign against powerful Samoa. They then face Russia in the mid-afternoon, before tackling Scotland later in the evening on the opening day.
In the women’s draw, New Zealand will kick off both their series and Dubai title defences against France, Russia and Brazil in Pool A. Rivals Canada and USA meet in Pool B alongside Fiji and Ireland while Australia are the top seed in Pool C where they’ll face England, Spain and series newcomers Japan.
In his reaction to the Dubai draw, Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell said his team will approach each pool match on its merit.
‘With so much at stake this season, the bigger World Series and the Olympics, it will be vital for us to keep our focus and concentrate on the most immediate task,’ said Powell.
‘In this respect it is Dubai, where we have a strong pool. Day one is very important and our approach will be to stick to our system and strive for the desired outcomes.’
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2015-16
Round 1 – Dubai, 4-5 Dec 2015
Round 2 – Cape Town, 12-13 Dec 2015
Round 3 – Wellington, 30-31 Jan 2016
Round 4 – Sydney, 6-7 Feb 2016
Round 5 – Las Vegas, 4-6 Mar 2016
Round 6 – Vancouver, 12-13 Mar 2016
Round 7 – Hong Kong, 8-10 April 2016
Round 8 – Singapore, 16-17 April 2016
Round 9 – Paris, 14-15 May 2016
Round 10 – London, 21-22 May 2016
Men’s series core teams: Fiji, South Africa, New Zealand, England, Australia, USA, Scotland, Argentina, Canada, Samoa, France, Wales, Kenya, Portugal, Russia.