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By ARU Media Unit
Adelaide Oval could play host to a Commonwealth Games gold medal rematch when the International Rugby Sevens returns to the city of churches on 2-3 April, 2011.
Silver medallists Australia and Delhi gold medallists New Zealand will compete for top honours at the two-day Adelaide Sevens event, which is celebrating its fifth year.
The fierce trans-Tasman rivals won’t have it all their own way though, with 2009/10 Sevens World Series Champions Samoa and Pacific Island entertainers Fiji among the favourites to push for the illustrious IRB title.
Tickets go on sale today, Tuesday 16 November, at 9am ACDT (9.30am AEDT) through Ticketek (www.ticketek.com.au) - with a two-day pass for an adult available from $55, with two-day family passes starting from $110.
Australia were overrun in the dying minutes of the Delhi medal decider as New Zealand scored two runaway tries to lift the gold medals from around coach Michael O’Connor’s side’s necks and win 24-17.
Games star Bernard Foley says Australia historically perform well on home soil and a vocal Adelaide crowd could prove the difference between first and second.
“Any time we have the chance to play New Zealand it’s a real occasion and a challenge we all enjoy,” Foley said.
“There’s a lot of history between the two sides, in sevens and in 15s, and after they beat us in Delhi, we’ll definitely be looking to get one back.
“But we’d be silly to underestimate the likes of Samoa who’ll be defending their Adelaide title, and they won the whole series last season, plus we’ll have to contend with Fiji who weren’t competing at the Commonwealth Games.
“The home crowd really does give you an edge and we’ll be using it to our advantage.”
Australia will be looking to continue the success of their 2009/10 season in which they finished third overall and won the London Sevens title, their first win since 2002.
Qantas Wallabies coach Robbie Deans is a proven supporter of the Sevens pathway with 15 of 36 players in his Spring Tour squad having represented Australia in the shortened version of the game.
Adelaide is the sixth stop on the eight-leg HSBC Sevens World Series, a change to the schedule in 2011 sees the famous Hong Kong event in March precede the Australian leg of the tournament.