Pools drawn for Women's Challenge Cup
The official pool draw has been made for the IRB Women’s Sevens Challenge Cup in Hong Kong, which will take place alongside the sixth round of the HSBC Sevens World Series, the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, on the 23-24 March.
Twelve international teams have been invited to compete at the second IRB-sanctioned Women’s Sevens Challenge Cup following the success of the inaugural tournament in Dubai last December which saw Canada crowned champions.
The teams have been seeded from 1-12 based on their performance in Dubai or by virtue of recent performances. Canada, Dubai runners-up England, Rugby World Cup Sevens 2009 champions Australia and the USA make up the top four seeds. Olympic Games 2016 hosts Brazil, Asian Women’s Sevens champions China, the Netherlands and Dubai Plate winners Spain are seeded five to eight. Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 hosts Russia, Japan, Hong Kong and Tunisia complete the invitational line-up.
Following the draw, Pool A comprises Canada, Brazil and Russia. England face Asian opposition in Pool B where they will meet China and Japan. Pool C features Australia, the Netherlands and hosts Hong Kong, while Pool D will see three continents represented as USA face Spain and Tunisia.
Four of the matches will take place at the 40,000-capacity Hong Kong Stadium, ensuring another pulsating IRB Women’s Sevens Challenge Cup played in front of a passionate and knowledgeable Rugby crowd.
“We are delighted to welcome 12 of the best teams in the world, including the leading Asian nations to the second IRB Women’s Sevens Challenge Cup in Hong Kong,” said IRB Women’s Development Manager Susan Carty.
“Women’s Rugby is growing around the world, particularly in Sevens, as this summer we enter the four-year cycle which precedes our debut at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. We are committed to increasing elite competition for international teams, and for ensuring a world-class Rugby Sevens event in Rio, which form two key elements of the recently launched IRB Women’s Rugby Plan. The IRB Women’s Sevens Challenge Cup is already delivering these priorities as we move towards an IRB Women’s Sevens World Series next season.”
The third of the IRB Women’s Sevens Challenge Cup events will take place at Twickenham, alongside the record-breaking Marriott London Sevens on May 12-13, the final round of the HSBC Sevens World Series.