PITCH 1 FIX­TURES FOR FRI­DAY

The National - News - - DUBAI SEVENS SPORT -

9.22am World Sevens Se­ries: New Zealand v Wales

Ten years ago, this was the first ever fix­ture to be played in the World Se­ries on Pitch 1 at the new venue for rugby in the Mid­dle East. New Zealand won that match 28-7, and will be favourites to run out win­ners again here. The All Blacks Sevens fin­ished third in the se­ries last sea­son, while Wales were way down in 14th.

10.52am World Sevens Se­ries: South Africa v Zim­babwe

A first chance to see per­haps the next big star of sevens, South Africa’s De­wald Hu­man. The Blitzboks might be with­out the class of Kwagga Smith and Se­abelo Se­natla as they go in search of a hat-trick of Dubai ti­tles, but Hu­man is the fu­ture. Their first fix­ture in the tour­na­ment is a con­ti­nen­tal derby, as they face the Africa qual­i­fiers Zim­babwe. In Tafadzwa Chi­tok­windo, Zim­babwe have one of the fastest play­ers in the tour­na­ment.

1.06pm World Sevens Se­ries: Fiji v Scot­land

The Fly­ing Fi­jians fell just short of haul­ing in South Africa at the top of the stand­ings last sea­son, de­spite a rous­ing run in the sec­ond half of the sea­son where they seemed un­beat­able – win­ning four tour­na­ments in a row. Scot­land have en­joyed qual­i­fied suc­cess in Dubai in the past, but will have to im­prove on last sea­son, when they fin­ished 12th in the se­ries, if they are to chal­lenge.

5.15pm Women’s World Sevens Se­ries: Fi­nal

Aus­tralia won the Dubai ti­tle 12 months ago when they beat United States in the fi­nal, but were beaten by the same op­po­si­tion in the first leg of the se­ries in the United States last month. The Aus­tralians have gen­er­ally taken turns with New Zealand to win the Dubai ti­tle. And the Black Ferns hold the lead in the se­ries, hav­ing won the first tour­na­ment.

6.22pm World Sevens Se­ries: New Zealand v United States

A mouth-wa­ter­ing clash be­tween es­tab­lished rugby great­ness and the new ar­riv­istes of sevens. New Zealand have won the World Se­ries more times than any­one. But the US have the reign­ing two-time World Player of the Year, in Perry Baker. The fly­ing wing is one of the most po­tent at­tack­ers the game has seen.

8.37pm World Sevens Se­ries: Eng­land v Aus­tralia

A week on from the clash be­tween their 15-a-side col­leagues at Twick­en­ham, Aus­tralia have a chance to ex­act a sem­blance of re­venge on their old ri­vals. Eng­land went through all of last sea­son with­out a tro­phy win as they slipped to No 5 in the stand­ings, a place be­low the Aus­tralians.

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