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By ARU Media Unit
The International Rugby Sevens Adelaide will be played next year on the weekend of 2-3 April with the event returning to a two-day timeslot for the sixth leg of the 2010-2011 IRB Sevens World Series.
The fifth staging of the tournament at Adelaide Oval was announced today following the weekend’s completion of the 2009-2010 season in which Australia returned its finest finish in nine years – a third placing on the overall standings behind champions Samoa and runners-up New Zealand.
In a further shift to the eight-stop schedule from this year, the Adelaide Sevens – where Adelaide Oval will have its new western grandstands and associated facilities in operation for the tournament – will revert to the weekend after the Hong Kong Sevens, having preceded the Asian leg in 2010.
“We look forward to returning to Adelaide for a fifth season as the interest and popularity of Rugby Sevens continues to grow around the world following its acceptance into the Olympic Games for 2016 in Rio,” said ARU Managing Director and CEO John O’Neill.
“ARU through its High Performance Unit and coach Michael O’Connor has worked extremely hard to rebuild the Australian Sevens team into a genuine international force and those efforts have been rewarded in the season just past.
“Australia won the London Sevens, its first tournament win on the IRB Sevens World Series circuit since Brisbane in 2002, and the final placing of third is better than any we have enjoyed since finishing second to New Zealand in the 2000-2001 season.
“The consistency shown by our Australian side, in reaching back to back finals across the final two tournaments and making the semi finals in the three events prior to that, is wonderfully encouraging.
“The Commonwealth Games are coming up in October and our Australian team can now be considered a genuine gold medal contender.
“We won the bronze medal in 1988 when Rugby Sevens was first granted entry in Kuala Lumpur but did not make the medal dais in 2002 or 2006.
“So this young team has the chance to create history in Delhi later this year.”
The International Rugby Sevens Adelaide was included on the worldwide IRB Sevens World Series circuit for the 2006-2007 season and has established itself as a successful and major sporting event on the South Australian calendar, drawing good crowds and embracing the unique carnival theme of Sevens at the picturesque Adelaide Oval.
Dates for the International Rugby Sevens Adelaide have been confirmed by the International Rugby Board, along with the other seven tournaments that will make up the Sevens World Series circuit in 2010-2011.
The World Series will visit five continents over a six month period with the same tournament Host Unions as the previous four seasons.
The 12th season of the World Series will kick off on 3-4 December in Dubai and will conclude in the Scottish capital Edinburgh on 28-29 May 2011.
“Samoa’s achievements this year (in winning the World Series) show just how competitive Rugby Sevens has become on a global scale and I’m sure that the IRB World Series will continue to go from strength to strength,” said IRB Chairman, Bernard Lapasset.
“Apart from the unparalleled party atmosphere at each of the events, one of Rugby Sevens major attractions is the unpredictable nature of the matches.
“In the last two seasons alone eight countries from four continents have won (tournaments) – New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Fiji, Samoa, Argentina and England all winners on the World Series and Wales at the Rugby World Cup Sevens, and we have seen the emergence of other title contenders such as Kenya and USA, who have reached Cup finals.
“That element of the unknown, combined with the players’ incredible levels of fitness, skill and camaraderie, makes Sevens such a hit with fans, sponsors and broadcasters all around the world.”
2010/11 IRB Sevens World Series
Dubai, UAE 3-4 Dec 2010
George, South Africa 10-11 Dec 2010
Wellington, New Zealand 4-5 Feb 2011
Las Vegas, USA 12-13 Feb 2011
Hong Kong 25-26-27 Mar 2011
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA 2-3 APRIL 2011
London, England 21-22 May 2011
Edinburgh, Scotland 28-29 May 2011
Note: The 2010 Commonwealth Games Sevens competition will be held in Delhi, India, on 11-12 October 2010