Russia-Ireland to open 2018 Sydney 7s

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Russia and Ireland will open the 2018 Sydney 7s, with the tournament schedule announced overnight.

The two minnows will kick off at 10am on Australia Day of the new-look Sydney 7s, which includes a three-day concurrent competition.

Women will open the proceedings on Friday morning, with that Russia-Ireland match, while the men’s competition will open later on Friday night, with competition heavyweights England taking on Spain at 6pm.

Both tournaments will run over the three-day weekend, with the women’s Cup final at 2:37pm on Sunday, and the men’s competition wrapping up at 8:48pm on Sunday night.

The new scheduling means that every match will be played on Allianz Stadium, a move away from last year when the women were forced onto Kippax because of World Series scheduling.

'The expectation on her is ridiculous'. Photo: Rugby.com.au/Stu WalmsleyAustralia’s women will be looking to redeem themselves in their home tournament after finishing fourth in the inaugural women’s Sydney 7s in 2017, while the men will be hoping to improve on a disappointing Cape Town outing.

Aussie women’s coach Tim Walsh said the three-day tournament would be right up their alley.

“We were really happy with our performance in Dubai but now it's all about a strong showing on home soil,” he said.

“The three-day event is somewhat similar to what we had in Rio for the Olympics so it's a format that we're comfortable with.

“We didn't meet our goals last in Sydney so I know how eager the women are to go out and impress, especially in front of family and friends.”

Men’s coach Andy Friend said his team was desperate to make a good impression on home soil.

“After not performing to our ability in Cape Town, I know how keen the group are to put on a much improved display in Sydney,” he said.

“The World Series is a very competitive tournament so we know that every Pool is always going to be difficult. USA, Canada and Scotland each pose their own unique threat so, we've got to be desperate to take it up a notch.

“We've had some success in Sydney over the last two years but haven't been able to secure to Cup, so that's our target next month,"

The women have been drawn in a pool with Spain, Papua New Guinea and France on Australia Day.

Australia’s men will play the USA, Canada and Scotland, with the latter two matches on Saturday afternoon.

Women’s Cup quarter-finals kick off at 9:44am on Saturday, while the men’s knock outs begin at 11:28am on Sunday.

Click here for the full women’s fixture.

Click here for the full men’s fixture.

The 2018 Sydney 7s runs from Friday January 26-Sunday January 28. Tickets available at ticketek.com.au/Sydney7s.

FIXTURES

Sydney 7s

All times AEDT.

Women’s Aussie Sevens

Australia vs Spain -  Friday January 26, 11:50am

Australia vs PNG - Friday January 26, 2:34pm

Australia vs France - Friday January 26,  5:18 pm

Men’s Aussie Sevens 

Australia vs USA - Friday January 26, 8:12pm

Australia vs Canada - Saturday January 27, 5:15pm

Australia vs Scotland - Saturday January 27, 8:04pm