Blockbuster weekend of Euro Sevens ahead

(IRB.COM) Friday 5 June 2009
 Blockbuster weekend of Euro Sevens ahead
Portugal are the current European Sevens champions having won last year's final event in Hanover

The fourth and fifth heats of FIRA's European Sevens circuit are to be played this weekend in Odessa and Ostrava as the teams jostle for places in the region's final in Hanover on 11-12 July.

Last weekend France followed success in the second round in Athens with another Cup success in Split, Croatia to book their place in the showpiece in Germany next month.

This weekend in Odessa hosts Ukraine contest the trophy with favrourites Georgia and Russia as well as Switzerland, Romania, Poland, Greece, Sweden, Moldova and Bulgaria.

Meanwhile, in the Czech town of Ostrava the winners of the first heat Portugal line up alongside Belgium, Monaco, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Germany, Azerbaijan, Croatia, Spain and Lithuania.

France too strong in Split

For the second week running France's top Sevens stars were in action on the IRB Sevens World series but a second-string from the Top 14 and Pro D2 still took the honours by beating Italy 28-10 in the final in Split.

As in Athens a week earlier, France were simply too strong for their pool opponents and dominated one-sided contests against Hungary (84-0), Serbia (49-0), Bosnia Herzegovina (38-0) and the pool's second-placed side Germany (35-12).

In the semi finals France beat Croatia 63-0 and the Italians got the better of Germany 31-0, although the Germans did recover to beat Croatia 39-0 and finish the event in third place.

FIRA European Sevens circuit

The six preliminary rounds of the FIRA European Sevens are played over five weekends in six cities throughout the continent. Countries play in at least two events and those with the most qualifying points go on to play in the final, in Hanover in July.

Event 1: 16-17 May – Sopot (Poland) – winners Portugal
Event 2: 23-24 May – Athens (Greece) – winners France
Event 3: 30-31 May – Split (Croatia) - winners France
Event 4: 6-7 June – Odessa (Ukraine)
Event 5: 6-7 June – Ostrava (Czech Republic)
Event 6: 20-21 June – Moscow (Russia)
Final: 11-12 July – Hanover (Germany)