Ed Jenkins to lead Australia at inaugural Gold Coast Sevens

by Staff Writer

Last year’s Australian Sevens vice-captain, Ed Jenkins, has today been named captain of the Australian Sevens team for the HSBC Sevens World Series 2011/12.

Jenkins will captain the Australian side for the first time when the side kicks off the new Series with the inaugural Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch tournament on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 November at Skilled Park on the Gold Coast.

The announcement was made at the official function today to celebrate the inaugural Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch tournament, hosted by Events Queensland on the Gold Coast.

The most experienced of the youthful Australian Sevens side, Jenkins has been part of the Aussie team since making his debut in Wellington in the HSBC Sevens World Series 2007/08 and last year served as the sides vice-captain behind the recently retired, Bernard Foley.

Jenkins, who played in all eight of the HSBC Sevens World Series 2010/11 tournaments, said he was honoured to have been awarded the captaincy and looked forward to leading the Australians out on home soil to kick of the new Series.

“It is one of the highest honours any sportsperson can have, to lead your country on the international stage, and I am very proud to have been given the opportunity,” Jenkins said.

“I am really looking forward to leading the side out in a couple of weeks’ time at the inaugural Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch tournament.

“Being able to play my first game as captain on home soil, in front of family and friends will be fantastic and I know I’ll be doing everything I can to help deliver a successful start to the new Series.”

Australian Sevens Coach, Michael O’Connor, said Ed was the natural choice to skipper the side in 2011/12.

“Ed has been a strong leader within in the group for a couple of years now and showed great maturity last year as vice-captain behind Bernard,” O’Connor said.

“Since coming into the Australian Sevens squad almost 5 year ago, Ed has really matured both as a player and a leader, which is one of the reasons why he will do a very good job as captain of the Australian Sevens side this season.”

The inaugural Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch Tournament will kick-off in just over three weeks’ time and is set to light up the Gold Coast with 16 international teams, live music, DJs and lots more planned for the two day tournament.

ARU Managing Director and CEO, John O’Neill A.O, congratulated Ed on his appointment and said the Gold Coast had really embraced the excitement of the inaugural Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch event.

“Ed has proven to be a great on field leader over the past few seasons and I know he will make a very good captain who will lead the side strongly throughout the HSBC Sevens World Series 2011/12,” Mr O’Neill said.

“I want to thank the Queensland Government and Events Queensland who, along with the Gold Coast, have really embraced the fun and exciting nature of Rugby Sevens.

“The Gold Coast is known around the world as a fun and vibrant destination and I have no doubt it will kick-off the HSBC Sevens World Series 2011/12 with a great amount of excitement and energy.”

Premier Anna Bligh said the two-day event will be a fantastic showpiece not just for the game of Rugby Sevens but also for the Gold Coast.

“The inaugural Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch tournament is going to be a wonderful celebration of all things Rugby and Gold Coast,” Ms Bligh said.

“Hosting an international event of this calibre supports our bid effort for the 2018 Commonwealth Games and will deliver a major boost to the Gold Coast tourism industry by drawing crowds from interstate and overseas.”

“Queenslanders love their Rugby and the excitement on the Gold Coast and around the state for Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch is building.”

Events Queensland CEO, John O’Sullivan, said the tournament was part of a strong partnership between Events Queensland and ARU and would be a signature event on the Gold Coast calendar over the coming years.

“Queensland is cementing its status as Australia’s true rugby heartland and events like this and the Festival of Rugby leading into it play an important role in developing the sport in this state,” Mr O’Sullivan said.

“Our strong partnership with the ARU will also see more international tests for Queensland over the next 10 years – including matches between the Qantas Wallabies and Argentina on the Gold Coast.

“Events like this, tomorrow’s International Rules Series Test and last month’s Armor All Gold Coast 600 showcase the region as a major sporting events destination.”

The inaugural Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch tournament will kick-off at 12:35pm on Friday 25 November with the night due to wrap up around 10:00pm, while the action on Saturday will start from 11:30am with the final schedule to commence at 8:00pm.

The Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch Pools and Draw will be released in the coming week.

Tickets to the inaugural Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch are on sale via the Ticketek website – www.ticketek.com.au, a full list of ticket prices for the two-day event is below.

Gold Coast Sevens - Fever Pitch 2011 - Ticket Prices

Two Day Packages:

Reserved – Adult $119

Reserved – Concession $79

Reserved – Family* $238

General Admission – Adult $79

General Admission – Concession $49

General Admission – Family* $158

Day 1 Only:

Reserved – Adult $59

Reserved – Concession $39

Reserved – Family* $118

General Admission – Adult $39

General Admission – Concession $25

General Admission – Family* $78

Day 2 Only:

Reserved – Adult $69

Reserved – Concession $45

Reserved – Family* $138

General Admission – Adult $49

General Admission – Concession $30

General Admission – Family* $98

*A family is considered to be either 2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children.

The inaugural Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch tournament is proudly brought to the Gold Coast through a partnership between ARU, the Queensland Government through Events Queensland and Gold Coast City Council.

An estimated 10,000 school children across Queensland will sample Rugby Sevens in the week leading up to the Gold Coast – Fever Pitch event through Queensland Rugby’s new Try Sevens program.

The state-wide activity is designed to introduce students to the fast and fun modified version of Rugby while promoting the sport as a pathway to the Commonwealth and Olympics Games.

Registrations are open to all Queensland Schools, for more information visit www.redsrugby.com.au .

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