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By ARU Media Unit
The Australian Qantas Men’s Sevens team has been drawn for a showdown with 2011 champions Fiji on day one of the Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch tournament at Skilled Park next month.
Australia will also take on Scotland and Tonga as part of Pool B action at this year’s opening round of the HSBC Sevens World Series on the Gold Coast.
After a fourth placing at last year's inaugural event, the Australian squad is determined to improve when the second instalment of the Gold Coast Sevens is staged on Saturday October 13 and Sunday October 14.
The pool draw, conducted by the IRB in London, sees a number of tantalising clashes on day one of Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch.
In the opening games of day one, England and Kenya will go head-to-head, Argentina and France will do battle, while the Qantas Men’s Sevens will meet Oceania rivals Tonga for their first game.
The final round of matches on day one promises to give fans a taste of finals like action with all the matches likely to determine who tops their respective pools.
England will take on Samoa, Argentina meet Wales and New Zealand face off against South Africa ahead of the final game of day one, which sees hosts Australia pitted against 2011 Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch Champions, Fiji.
Qantas Men’s Sevens coach, Michael O’Connor, said the draw delivered an exciting day one for fans and a tough day one for teams.
“Over the past few years every team has improved and there won’t be any easy games, all the Pools look tough,” O’Connor said.
“The one positive from our point of view is that should we qualify for the quarter-finals we won’t have to play New Zealand, South Africa or Fiji until at least the semi-finals on day two.”
Following their recent success at the Oceania Sevens Championships in Sydney and a number of training camps at the AIS in Canberra, the Qantas Men’s Sevens head in to Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch with a solid preparation under their belt.
Qantas Men’s Sevens captain, Ed Jenkins, said the side was looking forward to getting back to the Gold Coast and the challenge of facing last year’s champions on day one.
“There is a great feeling in the group at the moment, we’ve had some good training camps and the win at the Oceania Sevens has certainly given us a lot of belief,” Jenkins says.
“The group is really looking forward to getting back to the Gold Coast and playing in front of our home fans.
“Last year the crowd and the support was good, hopefully this year there’ll be more people there enjoying some fantastic games.
“The draw has certainly thrown up some exciting match ups and some great challenges.
“All of the games on day one could go either way and when they’re done the finals on day two will be even tougher.”
With over 25,000 people attending the inaugural Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch tournament in 2011, fans are being encouraged to purchase their tickets now and enjoy the newest Olympic Sport, Rugby Sevens, on the Gold Coast.
ARU Deputy CEO, Matt Carroll, said Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch would feature entertainment and excitement on and off the field all at 2011 prices.
“In 2011 the Gold Coast got a taste for International Rugby Sevens, with the exciting on field action combining with the off-field entertainment to create a successful inaugural event,” Mr Carroll said.
“The feedback we received from fans last year was that they would tell their friends about Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch and would themselves come back.
“This year ARU has been working hard to make Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch 2012 bigger and better, but we haven’t raised ticket prices.
“As reward to those who attended last year and as an incentive for more people to come along and enjoy the excitement of Rugby Sevens this year tickets to this world class international event have been frozen.
“The decision to freeze ticket prices at 2011 levels means a two-day Adult pass starts from just $79, which represents excellent value.
“With 45 matches scheduled across the Saturday and Sunday the $79 Adult pass equates to around $1.75 a game.”
In 2011 the inaugural Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch tournament lit up the Gold Coast and gave fans a taste of the on and off field excitement associated with Rugby Sevens.
In 2012 a number of the crowd favourites will return with fancy dress, kiss cam and karaoke all set to be part of the two day festivities.
There will also be a few new additions to the in-stadium entertainment with fans being given the chance to show off their dance moves and their air guitar talents on the big screen.
Day one action will kick-off at 10:30am on Saturday 13 October, which will also mark the start of the 2012/13 HSBC Sevens World Series.
With 15 international teams joining the Qantas Men’s Sevens side, Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch is sure to bring thousands of visitors to Skilled Park.
Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games, Jann Stuckey, said the international teams would draw thousands of Rugby fans to the Gold Coast tournament.
“Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch attracted more than 25,000 supporters in its first year, providing a great platform for growth in 2012,” Ms Stuckey said.
“As we look towards the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, of which Rugby Sevens is a core sport, this tournament demonstrates Queensland’s ability to host great international sporting events.
“The tournament will bring an exciting atmosphere to the Gold Coast as supporters wear their country’s colours and head out for two days of Rugby Sevens at Skilled Park.”
The full draw and ticket prices can be found below.
England v Kenya
Samoa v Spain
Argentina v France
Wales v Portugal
New Zealand v USA
South Africa v Canada
Fiji v Scotland
Australia v Tonga
England v Spain
Samoa v Kenya
Argentina v Portugal
Wales v France
New Zealand v Canada
South Africa v USA
Fiji v Tonga
Australia v Scotland
Kenya v Spain
France v Portugal
USA v Canada
Scotland v Tonga
England v Samoa
Argentina v Wales
New Zealand v South Africa
Fiji v Australia
Tickets available from ticketek.com.au
Two Day Passes:
Reserved – Adult $119
Reserved – Concession $79
Reserved – Family* $238
General Admission – Adult $79
General Admission – Concession $49
General Admission – Family* $158
Reserved – Adult $59
Reserved – Concession $39
Reserved – Family* $118
General Admission – Adult $39
General Admission – Concession $25
General Admission – Family* $78
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.
Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch is proudly brought to the Gold Coast through a partnership between ARU, the Queensland Government through Events Queensland and Gold Coast City Council.
Qantas Australian Sevens player Shannon Walker will play his first tournament in over a year when he lines up for the National Indigenous side at this weekend’s National Sevens Championships in Narrabeen, Sydney.