Voda­fone Fi­jians To Face Canada In Dubai Opener

Fiji Sun - - Sport - LEONE CABENATABUA

The match sched­ule is an­nounced for the 2016/17 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Se­ries opener in Dubai. Olympic gold medal win­ners and 2015/16 se­ries cham­pi­ons Voda­fone Fi­jian 7s team will be­gin their World Rugby Sevens Se­ries 2016/17 men’s cam­paign against Canada, fol­low­ing the an­nounce­ment of the full match sched­ule for the Emi­rates Air­line Dubai Sevens.

The Fi­jians, ac­cord­ing to World Rugby, will have a new coach­ing set-up fol­low­ing the de­par­ture of head coach Ben Ryan but as the reign­ing Dubai, se­ries and Olympic cham­pi­ons they will start as firm favourites. The is­landers take on Canada in their pool opener at 7.52pm (Fi­jian time) on Fri­day, De­cem­ber 2, and then Wales at 11.36pm. On Satur­day, De­cem­ber 3, they face Ar­gentina at 4.48am. The gold medal fi­nal will be played at 4.33am, Sun­day De­cem­ber 4. SOUTH AFRICA Last sea­son’s sec­ond-ranked side, South Africa, bronze medal­lists at the Olympics, start against African qual­i­fier Uganda with fur­ther matches against last sea­son’s London cham­pi­ons Scot­land and USA. NO TIETJENS For the first time in the 17-year his­tory of the se­ries, New Zealand will start a sea­son with­out long-time coach, Sir Gor­don Tietjens. Twel­ve­time se­ries win­ner Tietjens re­tired af­ter the Olympic Games, hav­ing served in the role for 22 years and mo­ti­va­tion will be high for the All Blacks Sevens af­ter a dis­ap­point­ing Rio cam­paign. They will start their Dubai chal­lenge against Rus­sia with fur­ther matches against Samoa, also un­der new man­age­ment, and Eng­land, whose coach Si­mon Amor and cap­tain Tom Mitchell guided Team Great Bri­tain to an Olympic sil­ver medal.

Aus­tralia’s men head the fourth of the pools and start their sea­son against newly-pro­moted Ja­pan, who fin­ished an im­pres­sive fourth in Rio fol­low­ing a fa­mous pool vic­tory over New Zealand. Sin­ga­pore cham­pi­ons FIJI SUN Kenya and France also lie in wait.

The pool draw for the 16-team men’s tour­na­ment had ear­lier been con­ducted in London by the se­ries’ tour­na­ment di­rec­tor Dou­glas Langley along­side for­mer Eng­land Sevens cap­tain and se­ries co-com­men­ta­tor, Rob Vick­er­man. The draw was watched live on Face­book by over 80,000 fans, which fol­lows a grow­ing trend: be­tween 150,000 and 300,000 fans tuned into the worl­drug­by7s Face­book page at the end of each of the 10 rounds last sea­son for ex­clu­sive pitch­side re­ac­tion be­hind the scenes and sim­i­lar live cov­er­age can be ex­pected on World Rugby’s so­cial chan­nels dur­ing the 2016/17 sea­son. | WED­NES­DAY, SEPTEM­BER 12, 2016 | FI­JISUN.COM.FJ | PAGE

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Fiji

© PressReader. All rights reserved.