Captains of the participating teams pose for a picture at The Palm in Dubai.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Ahead of the highly anticipated Emirates Dubai 7s, part of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, taking place on December 1-3, team captains of all 18 nations gathered at The View at The Palm alongside partners and stakeholders.
With breath-taking 360-degree views of the world-renowned Palm Jumeirah, the event was hosted in collaboration with Nakheel Community Management who recently signed a five-year agreement as the presenting partner of the fan-favourite Netball tournament, taking place during the Emirates Dubai 7s.
The Emirates Dubai 7s has grown with the airline’s ongoing support to become a major event on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series circuit.
The long-running Sevens tournament will be staging its 52nd edition in Dubai, and Emirates has been instrumental in growing its international status from when the airline first began its support in 1987, in cooperation with World Rugby.
The Emirates Dubai 7s has become the largest sports event and social festival in the region today, attracting over 100,000 fans over the three-day period last December in 2021.
This year’s Rugby Sevens Series will see 16 men’s and 12 women’s teams compete during the festival.
“Fantastic to be back! The sevens in Dubai is always a fantastic weekend. The crowds always get right behind us. I mean the conditions are perfect for Rugby, it is nice and warm, the pitch will be in great condition. Looking forward to a great weekend of sevens,” said Nick Malouf, Australia men’s team captain.
Four pools of four teams each will compete in the men’s event. Pool A sees current number one-ranking and 2022 Series champions Australia together with South Africa, Great Britain and Kenya.
South Africa men’s team captain Siviwe Soyizwapi said: “Preparations have been going well for us. We can take a lot of confidence from the camp back at home and the past two days in Dubai have been great as well, being out on the field in the heat so it’s been good.
“We enjoy playing in Dubai. It gets hot this time of the year in Cape Town, so I think it’s always good preparation for us coming into Dubai. There’s a lot of confidence that we can take from the previous years, however I think we always have to start all over again with each tournament. So, we’ll take it a step at a time, and I will take this as a brand new tool.
“It’s really exciting to have our new coaches in the frame with new ideas that are coming through and I think you will see something new this coming weekend with two new debutantes as well which brings something different that they can add to the squad, so I’m really excited to see it.”
Pool B sees Olympic gold medallists Fiji play Argentina, New Zealand and Uruguay. Pool C features third-seed France taking on Ireland, Spain and Uganda. Finally, Pool D has Samoa, the USA, Canada and Japan.
The three-pool women’s event sees Australia, the USA, Canada and China compete in Pool A. France, New Zealand, Great Britain and Brazil will compete in Pool B. Pool C features Fiji, Ireland, Spain and Japan.
Matches will be played across two pitches and will kick off at 9am UAE local time on Friday with Ireland competing against Spain in women’s Pool C.
Following two full days of action-packed Rugby matches the women’s final will take place at The Sevens Stadium at 6:56pm on Saturday, followed by the men’s final at 7:26pm.
This will join the Invitational Tournament favourites of Rugby 7s, 10s, Netball presented by Nakheel Community Management and Cricket presented by Dulsco, featuring male and female participants from 32 countries.