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By IRB Media Unit
• 16 teams from five continents to play across four pools of four
• Defending champions New Zealand to play event hosts Scotland
• Rugby Sevens tickets among most popular; some still available online
The organisers of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games have confirmed the teams and pools for the Rugby Sevens at this summer’s Games.
The sixteen teams who will strive for the coveted Gold medal in front of packed audiences at Glasgow's Ibrox Stadium are: Australia, Canada, Cook Islands, England, Kenya, Malaysia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Scotland, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda and Wales.
Reigning champions New Zealand, who have won all four Commonwealth Gold medals to date, have been drawn in Pool A alongside Canada, Nigeria and tournament hosts, Scotland.
Delhi silver medallist Australia and bronze medallist South Africa are top seeds in pools D and B respectively, while other World Series regulars in Samoa, England, Kenya, Wales and Canada will be determined to challenge the dominance of the mighty Sevens All Blacks, whose run of four straight titles began in Kuala Lumpur back in 1998.
The four Pools confirmed by the International Rugby Board and Commonwealth Games Federation are:
Pool A – New Zealand, Canada, Scotland, Nigeria
Pool B – South Africa, Kenya, Cook Islands, Trinidad and Tobago
Pool C – Samoa, Wales, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia
Pool D – England, Australia, Sri Lanka, Uganda
With 45 breath-taking matches of 14 minutes promising to deliver skill, flair and stamina, Rugby Sevens tickets are once again among the most sought-after and fastest-selling. However, limited opportunity does still remain for fans to be part of the Rugby Sevens crowd at Ibrox and witness the unique attraction of the Olympic sport.
IRB Chairman, Bernard Lapasset, said: "For 16 years now Rugby Sevens has enjoyed being a key part of the Commonwealth Games. To compete alongside their compatriots in a multisport environment is a matter of huge pride and honour for our rugby players, who are making giant strides in this new Olympic era. We wish our Rugby athletes all the best in this magnificent international event."
Greg Warnecke, Head of Sport at Glasgow 2014 said: “Glasgow will welcome many of the world’s best Rugby Sevens nations to compete at the Games. The standard of competition will be world-class, the action is fast-paced and with all of the teams playing in each session of competition, it guarantees a feast of rugby action and a brilliant atmosphere all round.”
Remaining ticket prices start from just £15 for adults. Tickets are on sale on a first-come, first-served basis online at glasgow2014.com or via the Ticketing Hotline at 0844 826 2014. The full competition schedule – detailing dates and times of matches - will be announced next month.
About the seeding structure
The nine World Series teams - Australia, Canada, England, Fiji, Kenya, New Zealand, Samoa, Scotland, Wales - are seeded and snaked A1, B1, C1, D1, D2, C2, B2, A2, A3 - according to their performances in the HSBC Sevens World Series over the last two years, up until November 30, which includes the first round of the 2013/2014 Series.
The teams seeded 10 to 16 are ranked based on their playing strength in their regions and any participation in the HSBC Sevens World Series i.e. Cook Islands & Papua New Guinea.